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The Archive

August 2001

Umit to Milan?
31.8 || webmaster

AC Milan will make Terim happy if problems arise for Dalla Bona. Terim likes Umit and he only costs $2m.

Terim about Coco's move
31.8 || webmaster

Fatih Terim has declared about the transfer of Coco to Barcelona: "I have never said a word about the transfer as I have never spoken about my relationship with the Italian press. Since the press conference in Brescia I have not given any interviews."

Terim: "Press against me"
30.8 || webmaster

Not an easy beginning for AC Milan's coach Fatih Terim. The bad performances in last matches by his squad, first of all the terrible first half at Brescia, put the Turkish trainer under the fire of part of the press.

And on Thursday, at the meeting of the managers Uefa organised at Geneva, he said "It seems press is against me, they continue to charge me of faults I don't think to have committed. And for sure I don't think to deserve such a treatment"

Terim escaped any comments about the voices to have been conditioned by veterans Costacurta and Maldini in the choice of the Sunday's line-up and he appeared even surprised from the news about the loan of Francesco Coco to FC Barcelona

"I don't know anything about that, my mobile phone is turned off. I will talk with club's summits soon, just later I can release some declarations" Terim concluded.

Coco: "Barca, the right choice for me"
30.8 || webmaster

Francesco Coco has completed his loan move to Barca and will join his new team-mates next week after Italy's games with Lithuania and Morocco.
The player joins Barca on a year's loan deal, and the Catalans will then have the option to sign him for a fee of around $15 million, that would be on top of the $2million AC Milan are receiving for letting their player leave the San Siro.

Coco has explained that moving to Spain has been entirely his choice and that he is counting on staying in Barcelona for the next six years.

"I'm going to play there for six years. This isn't a round-trip ticket for me. I chose to do this and I insisted on a move to Barcelona.

"They have a lot of champions in their team and I don't see moving abroad as a failure," he said.

Coco has also explained that The Rossoneri have already tried to sell him elsewhere and he decided to leave as he no longer felt welcome at the Italian club.

"I am sure that I've made the right choice. Yes, of course there was also an offer from Lazio at the beginning but then I heard nothing from them," he continued.

"Maybe AC Milan did not want to make one of their opponents even stronger, I don't know.

"In any case, what is certain is that AC Milan did nothing to try to convince me to stay. Before Barca they had already tried to surrender me to Lazio and Manchester United. I decided to leave this team in the first place because I no longer felt that the management had faith in my abilities."

As for Barca coach Carles Rexach, he is delighted to welcome the player whom he believes is used to reaching "high goals".

"I'm thrilled, the best thing is that he has come from Milan, a great club like Barca and one that is used to playing at the highest level," the coach said.

"Furthermore, he's an international with Italy, he'll be more than used to reaching high goals."

Players amazed by Coco's move
30.8 || webmaster

AC Milan player Francesco Coco's transfer amazed the players. Ambrosini: "I'm sorry as man and as player. It's a bad loss for AC Milan and I don't want to comment the club's choices or Francesco's ones". Chamot: "These are not decisions easy to take". While Brocchi underlines: "AC Milan lose a great player. If he decided to go away he has his reasons."

Terim explains
30.8 || webmaster

The coach on the match against Brescia: 'I decided to use Chamot because he was very fit. It doesn't mean I won't use Laursen. I need time to build a strong side'. 'Of course, I consult my players, but at the end, I decide'

Milan chasing Negro
30.8 || webmaster

Yesterday, AC Milan's directors met the player's agent. Cragnotti, in Brazil, will ponder the offer with Zoff when he returns in Rome. After the arrival of Stam, Negro might as well decide to leave.

Terim already deserves thanks
29.8 || webmaster

It comes as no surprise that newly appointed coach Fatih Terim, has already landed in troubled waters after Milan kicked-off its Serie A campaign with a tedious and nerve-racking 2-2 draw at Brescia. As quick as the Italian media and fans were to praise the arrival of il imperatore, they seemed twice as fast to retract their compliments and give the signal to Carlo Ancelotti to shed his warm ups and start stretching. Sadly, this is exactly the type of harsh criticism and pressure that comes with the job of coaching one of the titans of Europe, something I’m sure Terim anticipated. True you could pin the first half debacle of the rossoneri to the devastating injury of Rui Costa, but it seems no one wants to hear excuses, only solutions. Well, I for one could not be happier with our coach and the amount of progress that has been achieved thus far. People are to quick to overlook the transformed Milan side that took to the pitch in the second half, a side bursting at the seams with determination. We witnessed a dangerous and dynamic Milan that played 45 minutes of flawless football. What are the true signs of a quality coach? Is it demolishing a team from kick-off to the final whistle, or is it falling on your face, having the ability to regain moral in your squad, completely evaluate your faults and correct every mistake during the break. For me the latter is a much more admirable and significant asset in a team leader. Terim has shown me a glimpse of the team I wanted to see, a team with unity and style…something Milan undeniably lacked during the Zaccheroni era. Milan is slowly taking the shape of a team that can compete with the other big boys of the league and perhaps challenge for the title. This is clearly no longer the bland and lost side we’ve painfully watched crumble over the past few years, this is a team with personality and most importantly, creativity. Terim has already proven to be the man for the job, all he needs now is a little patience from us. He’s already built the weapon, now he just needs the media and fans to quietly wait while he sharpens the blade.

Written by Alex Manghisi

Coco's Barcelona move official
29.8 || webmaster

Milan winger Francesco Coco will sign a contract with Barcelona in the next few days as the players’ manager (and father) Nino and Rossoneri General Director Adriano Galliani sealed the loan move in Spain. The club's official website announced the deal with Barca's option to buy for £11m at the end of the season.

“This move is almost certain,” confirmed the player from the Italy camp at Coverciano this evening. “I am waiting for Galliani’s phone call but until that happens I don’t wish to make any further comment.”


Blaugrana director Anton Parrera had a meeting with the pair for this evening, though no other players will be included in the deal. Coco had demanded a move when it became clear that he was not a part of new Coach Fatih Terim’s plans. “It’s a World Cup year,” noted the midfielder, “and I can’t afford to sit the season out on the bench.”


24-year-old Coco is a product of the Milan youth system and has only featured for two other clubs in his career, Vicenza and Torino. His time with the Granata was particularly troubled as he suffered a serious knee injury and was played out of position.

Italian international Coco has played in 56 Serie A ties for Milan with two goals and 11 appearances in the Champions’ League in which he hit the back of the net twice.

Ibrahimovic admits AC Milan interest
29.8 || webmaster

Ajax young star Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits AC Milan's interest in him: "I know I'm one of their targets, but my club don't want to transfer me. I came here in Holland to do my best with Ajax". In the meanwhile his former team manager Hasse Borg judges him: "Zlatan improved a lot under a professional point of view, he matured and he became a very good player".

Galliani denies Guardiola interest
29.8 || webmaster

Adriano Galliani declared toninght from Barcelona: "We were interested in Pep Guardiola, but Albertini is already ready for the next match. They are very similar, so we won't sign Guardiola."

Pep: Milan, Parma or Bayern
29.8 || webmaster

In this moment Pep Guardiola is estimating three European clubs of very high level to decide his future. The Champions of Europe Bayern Munich are very interested in him specially after Stefan Effenberg's injury. AC Milan shew an interest in Guardiola and today Galliani and Braida are in Barcelona, may be not only to discuss Coco's transfer. Parma looked for Pep in the last 5 years each year, but Guardiola refused to stay with Barcelona...now it could be the right time!

acmilan-online.com launches its fourth version
29.8 || webmaster

Hi,
I have finally managed to complete the sites fourth version.
As you can see, there are many things changed.

The main improvements include:

> new navigational system

> brand new design [of course]

> three new wallpapers added so we could celebrate the event

> from the previous version I have learned more English and fewer typos and gramathical mistakes were made in this new version

> now you can put the latest 15 ac milan headlines on your site

> added info about Milanello

> got rid of some old wallpapers that were looking bad

> made an e-mail section where you can learn more about the @milanfan.com free e-mail account

> etc.

For best viewing pleasure we recommend using Internet Explorer +5.0 as browser. Please do not use the likes of Netscape and Opera.
Also, the optimal resolution is 800x600 or higher and the optimal color depth is 16 bits or higher.

You can tell me what you think about the new site by joining our mailing list and talking about it or by personally contacting me at webmaster@acmilan-online.com.

Enjoy,
digitalmisery.

Figo: "We will win for Rui"
29.8 || webmaster

Portugal captain Luis Figo has promised his side will beat both Andorra and Cyprus and then dedicate the victories to team-mate Manuel Rui Costa.
The Portuguese squad all met yesterday as they look to prepare for the vital World Cup qualifying games, but they will have to do without Rui Costa who dislocated his right elbow whilst playing for AC Milan against Brescia on Sunday afternoon.

But Figo feels Portugal have the squad to cope and they will win the games in tribute to their influential team-mate.

He said: "He (Costa) is one of a kind. However, we are confident of a positive performance because we have so many valid options.

"We will dedicate the triumph to Rui and to all the Portuguese."

National coach António Oliveira also emphasized his disappointment at losing such a charismatic footballer who he described as "a natural born star".

Meanwhile former Fiorentina team-mate Nuno Gomes expressed anguish for Costa after it was announced that he would be out of action for the next six weeks.

He said: "It was cruel because he did it on his debut for Milan and now he will lose forty days of competition."

Milan linked again with Becks
29.8 || webmaster

With David Beckham yet to sign a new deal at Old Trafford, sources from Milan say that he could join them in January. Beckham’s closest advisers and Milan’s top men have allegedly already met to discuss the move. The midfielder would be allowed to keep his image rights and Rossoneri owner Silvio Berlusconi has promised Beck’s wife Posh Spice, her own TV show. It’s no secret that Victoria desperately wants David to leave the North-West.

Crucial hours for Coco
29.8 || webmaster

AC Milan to earn $9m, to be used for Dalla Bona. Barcelona's directors confirmed that they are interested.

Coco on loan to Barca?
28.8 || webmaster

Barcelona are studying the best way to sign AC Milan left defender Francesco Coco. The clubs have an official contact over the last few hours but the Italian side do not want to sell the player as the Catalan club are not ready to spend $12-15m. Probably the international defender will join Barcelona on loan with an option for a permanent deal.

Coco's father: "Francesco likes Barca a lot"
28.8 || webmaster

AC Milan's Francesco Coco's agent and father Nino Coco has talked about his son's future and about the negotiations with Barcelona: "Francesco would like to stay at AC Milan, but if he is not strictly needed any longer we would be forced to look around because he's currently an international player and really wants to join next World Cup. Francesco likes Barcelona a lot but it is not possible to forget the time with the Rossoneri."

Rui about Terim
28.8 || webmaster

Manuel Rui Costa replies to those who said that the squad was made by the veterans of the club: 'I know Terim well: he's not the type of person who lets others make the formation. He talks a lot with us, yes, but he takes the final decisions. We tried the squad which played last week and he decided to try it after the excellent results in training. And then, if a coach makes a good move, he's a phenomenon. If he doesn't, he's an idiot. But well, this is football'.

Maldini denies he picked Milan side
28.8 || webmaster

Milan captain Paolo Maldini has denied claims by an Italian newspaper that he and fellow veteran Alessandro Costacurta chose the team for Sunday’s game at Brescia. "This is an insult to our professionalism," he blasted.

Reports had suggested that Maldini and Costacurta had talks with Coach Fatih Terim last Friday in which they discussed the starting line-up for the match at Brescia which ended 2-2.

"If a journalist makes such an assumption then you must ask him how he came to it," Maldini angrily replied. "Claims like this are an insult to the professionalism of the players and the Coach."

Eyebrows were raised around the Rossoneri when new signings Martin Laursen and Cosmin Contra were both left out of the starting line-up, while Antonio Chamot – believed to be on his way out of the club – was selected.

Barcelona in for Milan's Coco
28.8 || webmaster

Barcelona have officially asked Milan for left wing-back Francesco Coco. A few days ago, the Italy international complained because Milan coach Fatih Terim doesn’t consider him as a regular, preferring Brazilian Serginho in the role.

But now that Rui Costa will be out for 40 days, Coco is supposed to have more room. A decision on this deal must be made before August 31st, the deadline for the Champions Legue players list.

Ancelotti is waiting
28.8 || webmaster

Galliani: 'We believe in our coach'. But the club is disappointed. Berlusconi: Chamot as a regular, Contra and Laursen on the bench: And also: the Coco issue and Rui Costa's injury. The Portuguese back in 40 days after surgery. Terim will use the 4-4-2 after Albertini's comeback.

Galliani stands by under-fire Terim
28.8 || webmaster

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani backtracked on his fierce criticism of Fatih Terim after the 2-2 draw at Brescia and vowed to give the Turkish coach more time.

Galliani was furious after seeing Carlo Mazzone's unfancied side take a 2-0 lead through two Igli Tare goals after Portugal midfielder Rui Costa was taken off with a dislocated elbow.

"It was unbelievable to see our team playing that way," Galliani said on Sunday night. "We built a team looking to the attack and we weren't able to play forward at all. Why? You must ask the coach about that: I can only say that I didn't like the first half of Milan at all."

But by Monday he had softened his tune. He claimed: "I made only a few observations. We are still convinced that Terim is the right manager for AC Milan. It's obvious that no-one has a magic wand and Terim needs time."

The former Galatasaray boss insisted that he would need four more weeks to bring out the best in his squad. "I still need a month. And at the end of this period, you will see the real AC Milan. I see a team that is improving day after day. I was heartened by our reaction in the second half at Brescia."

And in a pointed reference to the protracted negotiations to sign Chelsea midfielder Samuele dalla Bona as a replacement for Rui Costa, Terim added: "I still need the time to understand if the recent injuries will allow me to ask for any new players or not."

New signing Andrea Pirlo stands by if no new faces are introduced.

Terim's next league match, after a two-week break due to international fixtures, will be against former club Fiorentina.

The club from Florence will go into the match at the San Siro in an even more parlous position than their opponents, having continued a disastrous pre-season into the league campaign with a 2-0 home defeat against Chievo.

Bierhoff completes Monaco switch
28.8 || webmaster

Germany captain Oliver Bierhoff signed a one-year contract with struggling French team Monaco on Tuesday morning. "Didier Deschamps has confidence in my abilities and that has made my decision to join easy," the 33-year-old said.

Bierhoff, who leaves AC Milan after three years at the San Siro, added: "I am happy about the contract and I am looking forward to meeting the team."

Monaco have struggled for goals all season and have only scored in one of the five league games this season. Coach Didier Deschamps, who has fallen out with forwards Wagneau Eloi and Florin Raducioiu, has turned to the German veteran after insisting that a goalscorer was what he needed to reverse the Principality club's fortunes.

With first-choice strikers Shabani Nonda and Marco Simone struggling to find their form, Deschamps said last week: "I lack someone who can score goals. How can you win without a decent striker?"

The move for Bierhoff ends a nervous summer which has seen moves to Brescia, Fulham, Galatasaray, Real Betis and Marseille fall through.

Southampton were also interested – until their chairman Rupert Lowe found out about his £30,000-a-week wage demands. "We are not Manchester United and he is not 25 anymore. His wage demands are extremely high and I am not prepared to disrupt team harmony to that extent," Lowe said.

AC Milan chief infuriated by Terim's tactics
27.8 || webmaster

AC Milan coach Fatih Terim has been blasted for his team selection and tactics after his side's 2-2 draw at Brescia on the opening day of the Italian season.

Despite coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Brescia, Terim's cautious tactics infuriated vice-president Adriano Galliani.

“It was unbelievable to see our team playing that way,” he said. “We built a team looking to the attack and we weren't able to play forward at all.

"Why? You must ask the coach about that: I can only say that I didn't like the first half of Milan at all. Anyway, Cosmin Contra changed the match.”

Contra, who joined Milan from Alaves, came on for Jose Antonio Chamot with his side 2-0 down thanks to an Igli Tare brace.

Terim admitted after the match that his selection of Chamot was ill-judged, but also cited the horror elbow injury sustained by Rui Costa as a mitigating circumstance for such a poor opening period.

“This kind of things can happen in football,” said Terim. “I admit that I would change the line up if I had to play this match again. I waited for something better from Chamot.

"I think that my team felt shocked after Rui Costa's injury and conceded two goals immediately.

"Anyway, don't forget our wonderful second half. Do you think it would be simple to come back from a two goal deficit? During the second half the team played well and we had some chances to win.”

Terim will now have to do without the services of Rui Costa for a month as he endeavours to win over his critics after Sunday's draw.

Genoa coach Francesco Scoglio joined in the chorus of disapproval on “Controcampo”, the Sunday evening analysis programme on Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi's television network.

“It's clear that Terim got the line up wrong against Brescia, in front of Carlo Mazzone, one of the best coaches in Italy.

"He tried to play with a four-man defence against a team who had only one forward (Tare) and Roberto Baggio in a withdrawn role. In that way Milan players lost their benchmarks.

"I can't understand a coach who says that his team will reach their best in April. All of us know very well that every coach can be fired in November.”

Second half goals for Milan from Cristian Brocchi and Andriy Shevchenko limited the damage somewhat for Terim in his first match in charge of the rossoneri.

His next league match, after a two-week break due to international fixtures, will be against former club Fiorentina.

The club from Florence will go into the match at the San Siro in an even more parlous position than their opponents, having continued a disastrous pre-season into the league campaign with a 2-0 home defeat against Chievo.

Rui: "I'll be back in 40 days"
27.8 || webmaster

AC Milan playmaker Manuel Rui Costa has responded positively to the horror injury that wrecked his Rossoneri debut on Sunday, and vowed to be back playing within 40 days.

The Portugal international fell awkwardly after being pushed by Emanuele Filippini after 25 minutes, dislocating his elbow and fracturing a bone in his hand.

"Hopefully I'll be back in 40 days," Rui Costa said. "I'm feeling a lot better already. The worst is over. The pain isn't as bad any more.

"The doctors have dealt with the elbow and they'll operate on the hand on Tuesday. I'm already anxious to restart this great adventure."

The midfielder seems already to have come to terms with the setback, and, although disappointed to miss the early part of the season, he recognises that the injury isn't as bad as was first feared.

"The injury is serious but not as serious as we initially thought," he said. "I immediately realised what had happened.

"I was in terrible pain and my arm was out of joint. The fracture in the hand was only discovered later, during the first x-rays. I felt a small pain and I told the physicians who later detected the fracture."

Rui Costa will also miss Portugal's World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Cyprus. Portugal lie second in Group 2, three points behind the Republic of Ireland with a game in hand.

Bierhoff to Monaco
27.8 || webmaster

Oliver Bierhoff quits AC Milan. The German forward reached an agreement with Monaco, the French team trained by Didier Deschamps.

Brescia vs. Milan - post-match comments
26.8 || webmaster

Carlo Mazzone: “We hope that the tensions dissipates a little bit, for the good of Brescia. We played well for the first half then made a real mess of it ourselves for the draw.”


Fatih Terim: “We have lost Manuel Rui Costa for a month with an elbow injury and fractured right hand. The club and team are in shock by this development. We conceded two goals then made up for it after the break.”

Brescia vs. Milan - match report
26.8 || webmaster

Score: 2-2
Half-time: 2-0
Scorers: Tare 36, 41, Brocchi 49, Shevchenko pen 63

Coach Carlo Mazzone was on the bench despite walking out on Brescia following rows with the fans midweek. Christian Abbiati was forced to clear Ighli Tare’s solo effort with his feet before the giant Albanian nodded in twice in four minutes.

I Rossoneri fought back at thestart of the second half and Christian Brocchi turned in the loose ball following Filippo Inzaghi’s solo effort. Kozminski brought down Cosmin Contra for a spot-kick which Andriy Shevchenko converted to equalise.


There was bad news for Milan as Manuel Rui Costa was stretchered off with a very painful torn elbow muscle after Emanuele Filippini’s foul from behind. Christian Brocchi also limped off injured.

Brescia: Castellazzi: Petruzzi, Calori, Bonera; Esposito (Correa 79), A.Filippini, Yllana, E.Filippini, Kozminski (Mero 85); Tare, Baggio

Milan: Abbiati; Chamot (Contra 46), Costacurta, Maldini; Gattuso, Kaladze, Serginho, Brocchi (Donati 76); Rui Costa (Coco 25); Inzaghi, Shevchenko

Ref: Collina

Rui hospitalized during Brescia game
26.8 || webmaster

AC Milan's Portuguese playmaker Manuel Rui Costa was taken to hospital on Sunday just minutes into his Serie A debut for his new club.
Rui Costa, signed for 37 million dollars from Fiorentina in the summer, fell awkwardly under a challenge by Brescia's Emanuele Fillipini, landing on his arm, and surrounding players immediately signalled to the referee to halt the game.
The player was stretchered off and immediately taken to hospital by ambulance where he was to be examined for a suspected fracture.

Terim wants a winning debut
26.8 || webmaster

Brescia's match on Sunday afternoon is expected to clarify many things about Fatih Terim's AC Milan after the first pre-season matches brought supporters' enthusiasm at the top, an enthusiasm which left space to doubts after the exhibition in the 'Berlusconi's Trophy' a week ago against Juventus.

And to take back the smiles of the first weeks, the Turkish 'Emperor' wants just a result against Mazzone's squad, the victory, if possible through a spectacular play

"To start in a positive way is too much important in my opinion, so at Brescia we must absolutely to win. It's just the first match of the season, but it's already a key-game, since it can already condition our championship" Terim said.

"Another thing we must show on the pitch on Sunday is the ability to impose our play for the whole game. The hot weather of these days will probably cause us some difficulty, but I hope my players can play a good soccer for at least 60 minutes"

"It still cannot be the Milan I would like to see, we have to work hard to reach the level I'm looking for, and just for that to win at Brescia is important, three points away when the condition isn't at the top are indeed precious"

Inzaghi looking for debut goal
26.8 || webmaster

New Milan forward Pippo Inzaghi is looking to crown his debut for the Rossoneri with a goal. The Italian international arrived from Juventus over the summer and is looking to again establish himself as one of Serie A’s deadliest strikers.

"It’s my first game for the side in an official game and I hope that it is a positive one," he said. "In my opening month here I have been shown great faith by the club and the fans and I want to do well for them."

Milan take on Brescia this afternoon, but he maintains that he won’t be affected by nerves. "My first game at the San Siro was difficult under that aspect but that is over now. I’ll be calm today but above all I hope that we can get the three points because at this moment that is the most important aspect."

The ex-Parma forward added: "It will be very difficult for us though. There will be a full house at the Rigamonti and the heat will also be difficult to handle. If we can play how we know we can we have a good chance. Should we underestimate them then we run a risk of losing."

Chamot happy to stay at Milan
25.8 || webmaster

Jose Antonio Chamot has been on the market all summer but despite links with Tottenham Hotspur and Alaves, the defender has remained at Milan. Now Coach Fatih Terim has included the Argentine in the squad to face Brescia tomorrow, a sign that he is once again an integral part of the team.


“This call-up surprised even me,” confessed the former Lazio defender. “I am very happy, also because I have come from a difficult time in my career. It isn’t nice to know you’re on the market as it means the club no longer has faith in you. However, now I will try not only to step onto the field, but also to be a regular in the first team.”


Argentine international Chamot took this opportunity to thank “the Coach above all else as he took me into account even when I was on sale. His faith in me has given me the strength to carry on and to believe I can do well at Milan."

"I don’t expect a first team place immediately,” admitted the 32-year-old, “this is obvious, but I do want to be useful to this team. Of course,” he added, “if I were to spend my entire time on the bench then it would be best to just leave.”

Normal service to resume for northern giants
25.8 || webmaster

By Saul Brookfield

You can never accuse Serie A of being predictable. Roma might have just won their first Scudetto in 18 years, worthy successors to city rivals Lazio who themselves lifted the crown in 2000 for only the second time in their history. But after a summer of hectic transfer deals, most people are expecting the old order to reassert themselves.

Juventus, Milan and Internazionale have won the title 54 times between them and the smart money this season is being placed on the prospect of one of the northern giants putting these Roman upstarts in their place.

The most intriguing possibility is that Inter under new coach Hector Cuper finally get their act together. For several years Massimo Moratti's expensive collection of superstars has merely masqueraded as a team but don't expect Cuper to tolerate the sort of slackness that saw Marco Tardelli's side thrashed 6-0 in the Milan derby in May.

Under the hard-headed former Valencia coach, pre-season results have been excellent, the Nerazzuri rounding off wins against Juve and Lazio with victory over Real Madrid in the Bernabeu. The signings of Francesco Toldo from Parma and the reliable Marco Materazzi from Perugia should see Inter concede far fewer goals, Brazilian teenage striker Adriano is an intriguing prospect after his stunning strike against Real, but the key to success is likely to be the way Cuper organises the unwieldly squad he inherited.

Nearly every other Serie A club would love to have Christian Vieri leading their attack, a midfield containing Zanetti, Di Biagio and Sergio Conceicoa looks promising while there is also the great imponderable that is the state of Ronaldo's knees. It could be their year.

Inevitably, if Inter do challenge for the Scudetto they will have Juventus breathing down their necks. Yet it will be a new team that takes the field against Venezia at the delle Alpi on Sunday; no Zidane, no Inzaghi, no Van der Sar, Davids suspended. In their place the returning Marcello Lippi has bought wisely with £22m Lilian Thuram and former Lazio playmaker Pavel Nedved likely to make the biggest difference.

Question marks remain over the wisdom of drafting in Marcelo Salas in attack after repeated moves to lure Vieri back to the Old Lady were rebuffed, but in Italy it is widely believed that Juve have done the best business in the summer transfer market while it could be the season that David Trezeguet finally shows Serie A what he is capable of.

In 1994, the last time Silvio Berlusconi was Italian prime minister, AC Milan were European champions and the former cruise liner crooner's victory in May's elections appears to have reawakened his ambition for the Rossoneri. The arrival of Rui Costa from Parma will have San Siro fans licking their lips and while £26m for Filippo Inzaghi is a lot of money for a striker who misses as many as he scores, the former Juve man will at least be an improvement over the immobile Oliver Bierhoff as a partner for the sublime Andriy Shevchenko.

Perhaps for the first time since Fabio Capello's first spell at the club, Milan will also have a strong coach who knows his own mind. Fatih Terim has already proved his credentials with Galatasaray's 2000 Uefa Cup triumph and in his short time at Fiorentina showed he was a quick learner in Serie A. He still has work to do on a leaky defence where the likes of Roque Junior and Jose Chamot flatter to deceive and their prospects for this season will be improved immensely if Fernando Redondo fully recovers from his wretched knee injury, but expect Milan to claim a Champions' League place.

Rome is still basking in the success of two successive Scudetti but a few dark clouds could be about to intrude on the blue skies over the Eternal City. It has been a quiet summer at champions Roma. Aside from the anticipated signing of the much-coveted Antonio Cassano from Bari, Fabio Capello has been content to merely flesh out the numbers in his squad. After effectively losing interest in the Uefa Cup last season, this time around the Champions' League will prove a distraction while I Lupi could also suffer a hangover from June's long-awaited success. Capello should also watch for more discontent from those strikers he leaves on the bench.

Neighbours Lazio had a much more turbulent time during their break with the exit of Juan Veron and Pavel Nedved proving to club owner Sergio Cragnotti that his popularity amongst the club's unpleasant Ultras is only built on his bulging wallet. The mercurial Gaizka Mendieta was brought in from Valencia for £27m in response to the criticism levelled at Cragnotti but the Spanish winger will struggle to replace the gap left by Nedved every week and even his most ardent admirers will concede that Stefano Fiore (£18m from Udinese) is no Veron.

At least Argentinian striker Claudio Lopez is fit after missing much of last season through injury, but after 2000's orgy of spending Cragnotti has suddenly been sent the bill and Lazio's ambitions have been suitably curtailed.

Outside the big five, with Fiorentina and to a lesser extent Parma in decline, European places should be up for grabs amongst some fairly unfashionable names. With the Viola imploding spectacularly thanks to financial problems, their passionate fans must be haunted by 1993's relegation to Serie B. Rui Costa and Toldo have already followed the well-worn path out of the Artemio Franchi, under-rated defender Tomas Repka and Portuguese striker Nuno Gomes might be next. Amidst all the off-the-pitch troubles, inexperienced coach Roberto Mancini will have his work cut out to keep the team motivated.

Parma too have been leaking talent as Thuram and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon headed for Juve, Conceicao was sold to Inter and Borussia Dortmund spent a Bundesliga record £16m on Brazilian striker Marcio Amoroso. Their shock exit from the Champions' League at the hands of Lille probably hastened unflappable Italian international defender Fabio Cannavaro towards the exit, too. At the Ennio Tardini Hidetoshi Nakata at last has a stage to display his full talents after finally escaping from the bench at Roma, but the occasional wonder goal from the Japenese playmaker won't mask Parma's over-reliance on expensive mistakes Savo Milosevic and Johan Micoud.

Uefa Cup spots should therefore well be within the reach of Atalanta and Brescia. Atalanta might have lost midfielder Massimo Donati to Milan but they still have other talented youngsters coming through while the Rosseneri could well regret letting quicksilver striker Gianni Comandini leave for Bergamo for £10m.

Brescia also spent that amount on Vicenza striker Luca Toni and with the evergreen Roberto Baggio still in fine form, Carlo Mazzone's decision to withdraw his resignation as coach could bear fruit.

Elsewhere, Bologna's hopes of a mid-table berth could rest on veteran striker Beppe Signori reaching his much-proclaimed career target of 250 Serie A goals, Udinese might live to regret appointing former Inter coach Roy Hodgson as the replacement for Luigi De Canio, while Perugia under the charismatic Serse Cosmi will continue to take points off the bigger teams.

At the bottom tiny Chievo will attract a lot of sympathetic support but could well be cut adrift from the rest by the end of January, neighbours Verona will also struggle after surviving their relegation play-off against Reggina last season but Lecce under the canny Alberto Cavasin should do just enough to live to fight again.

That leaves the other promoted teams, Piacenza, Torino and Venezia, fighting to avoid the last two relegation places with Piacenza's signing of experienced goalscorer Dario Hubner from Brescia likely to enable them to escape an immediate return to Serie B.

Terim brands Coco comments childish
25.8 || webmaster

Fatih Terim has publicly reprimanded Francesco Coco after he complained about being unsure of his status in the team.
Coco, who will not play in Sunday's game with Brescia, said during the week that he was not willing to stay at AC Milan if he wasn't told whether he would be a first choice or not.

With Coco having always been among the leading players of his team, the midfielder seems to have had quite a few problems adjusting to this new reality and had also added that he was prepared to move elsewhere if he could not play often.

Terim however is convinced that the payer is over reacting and the Milan coach has no difficulty in admitting it.

"His statements are absolutely childish," he said. "I don't see where the problem is since he has always played so far."

Terim also talked about the first game of the Serie A season, which will see his team opposed to Brescia tomorrow.

"The most important thing right now is to start with a victory, because then we'll have two weeks (due to the World Cup Qualifiers) that will allow our injured players to complete their recovery."

"The friendly with Deportivo Alaves, for example will give Demetrio Albertini a chance to start playing with the team once again. But it is important to start the season well to keep the team in good spirits."

Brescia vs. Milan - match preview
25.8 || webmaster

Brescia’s manager Carlo Mazzone has decided to rejoin the Rondinelle.


In view of Sunday’s match the Rossoneri’s manager Fatih Terim experimented with various solutions in today’s friendly match with Milan’s young team winning 5-0.


The main piece of good news is the return of Demetrio Albertini who played the second half of the match and did so very well too, allowing everyone to be very hopeful for his return in time for the Rossoneri’s match against Fiorentina.


The whole environment, visibly serene, is conscious of the necessity of starting the season well and considering Brescia is going through a very difficult moment after their defeat with PSG in the Intertoto.


The only doubt for the formation resides in the choice for the right defender, either Helveg or Contra and considering the physical problems the Dane has been going through recently the choice seems to lie in favour of the Romanian.


THE PROBABLE FORMATIONS:

BRESCIA: (3.5.1.1) Castellazzi, Petruzzi, Calori, Bonera, Diana, A.Filippini, Kozminski, E.Filippini, Esposito, R.Baggio and Tare.


MILAN: (4.4.2) Abbiati, Contra, Roque Junior (Costacurta) , Maldini, Gattuso, Kaladze, Donati, Serginho, Rui Costa, Shevchenko and Inzaghi.

Milan happy with UEFA draw
24.8 || webmaster

AC Milan's organizational director Umberto Gandini says that he is pleased to be drawn against Belarussian side Bate Borisof in the UEFA Cup.
But while Milan are naturally confident of progressing in the competition, Gandini says they will not be taking things for granted.

"We know they are a team from Minsk and they certainly can't be that bad since they defeated a much more famous team like Dinamo Tblisi 4-0 at home after losing 2-1 away," said Gandini.

"We must in any case respect our opponent and do not underestimate this team, even though we have to admit that this has been a lucky draw for us."

Lazio have signed Coco, rumors are saying
24.8 || webmaster

A rumour from Milan indicates that Lazio have beaten Manchester United in the race to sign AC Milan’s defender Francesco Coco.


Thanks to a meeting between the Rossoneri’s general manager Adriano Galliani and Lazio’s chairman Sergio Cragnotti it seems a top secret agreement has been reached which consolidates the already strong relationship between the 2 clubs.


This deal was almost obligatory for Milan in order to correct a rather difficult economical balance after a summer spent signing top level players such as Inzaghi and Rui Costa and so the Via Turini club have decided to do without their young talent who would also benefit from this move due to manager Terim’s desire of playing Serginho on the left wing.


The Roman club would be able to start solving their immense problem as far as the defence is concerned, especially due to the injuries that both Negro and Mihajlovic suffered in yesterday evenings match against Copenhagen, which could be completed with the possible arrival of 2 more top level players.

Argentinian starlet Riquelme to Milan in 2002!
24.8 || webmaster

Milan have apparently agreed a pre-contract deal with Boca Juniors for their star forward Juan Roman Riquelme to join the rossoneri in July 2002.


Reports from Milan indicate that the deal has been on the back burner since Riquelme's proposed transfer to Barcelona fell through.


Elsewhere in the Meazza, Brazilian keeper Dida is destined to leave within weeks after he was granted permission to play abroad. Dida is banned from Italian football for his involvement in the fake passport saga but has been offered a similar clearance to Inter's Recoba. Milan have been trying to offload the lastline for the past few weeks, but he has already rejected a move to Alaves.

Analysis of Milan by soccerage.com
24.8 || webmaster

PROBABLE FORMATION:

(4.3.1.2) Abbiati, CONTRA, Laursen, Maldini, Coco, Ambrosini, Gattuso, Serginho, RUI COSTA, Shevchenko and INZAGHI.


Coach Terim ended up getting his favourite player from Fiorentina and poached Juve's predator Inzaghi to keep the Portuguese creative busy. But it will be Shevchenko who should produce the most goals.


This year, the rossoneri have a solid chance to challenge hard for the title after enduring some miserable times and everyone at the San Siro is confident that this will be their year. "We haven't had a team like this since the days of Marco Van Basten," VP Adriano Galliani has said.


Terim's back 4 looks strong and flexible but the Turk may have to wait until Redondo finally finds fitness and Donati settles in to find the perfect red and black blend overall. The players leaving were no surprise except for hyper-talented young hitman Comandini who joined Atalanta. Boban knew there was no place for him up against Rui Costa and Leonardo has flattered to deceive for too long at the highest level.


The incoming Liga top scorer Javi Moreno should keep Inzaghi on his toes and Brocchi and Pirlo are good cover for Terim's plans.


BOUGHT:

Defender Laursen (from Parma), midfielder Brocchi (from Inter), midfielder Rui Costa (from Fiorentina), striker F.Inzaghi (from Juventus), midfielder Pirlo (Inter), defender Contra (from Alaves), midfielder Donati (from Atalanta), defender Domoraud (from Bastia), striker Javi Moreno (from Alaves), defender C.Zenoni (from Atalanta), midfielder Corrent (from Salernitana), defender Coloccini (from San Lorenzo) and midfielder Brncic (who returns from a loan with Vicenza).

SOLD:

Midfielder Daino (to Derby County), midfielder Ba (to Marseille), goalkeeper Aldegani (to Alaves), midfielder Boban (to Celta Vigo), midfielder Guglielminpietro (to Inter), midfielder Ba (to Marseille), defender Coloccini (loaned to Alaves), Aldegani (loaned to Alaves), midfielder Giunti (to Brescia), defender Sala (to Atalanta), midfielder Guglielminpietro (to Inter), striker Leonardo (to San Paolo), striker Comandini (to Atalanta) and striker Saudati (to Atalanta).



RATING:

9.5/10: Powered by a strong and respected coach, Milan have all the right pieces assembled for a title challenge. If they don't win, they will come a very close second.

UEFA Cup 1st round
24.8 || webmaster

AC Milan will face a Bielorusian team named BATE.
The first leg will be played in Milan.

Coco linked with EPL club
23.8 || webmaster

Milan defender Francesco Coco has been linked with Manchester United. However, it looks like Lazio may just come in with late attractive bid, as Coco wants to stay in Serie A.

Coco seeks assurances
22.8 || webmaster

Francesco Coco has revealed that rumours about his future at the San Siro throughout the summer have unsettled him ahead of the new season.
The 24-year-old midfielder says he has been left in the dark as Milan have not spoken to him at all regarding his position at the club, or the stories that have appeared in the press speculating on his future.

During a press conference Coco said: "The rumours about my possible transfer to other teams are giving me quite a few worries. I am not asking to be named a first choice but I don't like the situation as it's affecting my peace of mind.

"I still don't know whether I will be playing on Sunday or not and I still haven't had a chance to speak with the management.

"So far I've always been a first choice both at AC Milan and in the national team so it would be strange for me not to play the first game of the season."

The player admits he has received offers from other clubs but stressed that he would prefer to stay in Italy. What is important for him, however, is for assurances that he fits in to Fatih Terim's plans for the future.

He added: "I can't go on like this. I need to have my mind free of any problems otherwise I won't be able to play.

"I know that Lazio are interested in me. Somebody also wrote that I could end up in Barcelona but I know nothing about that and in any case I don't want to move away from Italy in the year that will lead to the World Cup.

"I must confess that I am very afraid that this situation will also affect my career in the national team."

Terim confident ahead of Brescia opener
22.8 || webmaster

Milan will play the first Serie A round on a very difficult field, the Rigamonti in Brescia, but coach Fatih Terim is confident about his teams' chances: "In this preseason we played sometimes very well, doing exactly what we wanted to, but we still have to improve. We must be more dymanic without the ball possession, in a few words, we need to make more movement. I don’t feel any skepticism, I’m sure my team will be convincing against Brescia."

Milan waiting for Niculae
21.8 || webmaster

Even though he lived a nightmare on Saturday with Sporting, missing a penalty and being sent off, Marius Niculae continues to attract praises. And not only in the Portuguese media, but in the Italian aswell, "TuttoSport" dedicating him a whole article in yesterdays edition.

The Turin newspaper sustains that Milan renewed its interest in the 20 years old Romanian bomber, which Milan blocked last year while in Dinamo Bucharest.

It also seems that in Niculae's transfer from Dinamo Bucharest to Sporting this summer Galliani played a role. The same Galliani which had sent a scout at the Sporting vs. Porto derby one week ago in which Niculae impressed, scoring the only goal with a well put header. Despite all those facts, Galliani still thinks that Milan will have to let him at least until the end of the season in Sporting so that he could 'grow up' mentally and be ready for Serie A. Hagi said that 'Niculae is already prepared for Serie A'.

Milan on Riquelme again
21.8 || webmaster

AC Milan are reportedly negotiating with Boca Juniors to sign Argentinian striker Juan Roman Riquelme in time for the 2002/03 season.
Italian daily 'Tuttosport' report the player, who recently saw a move to Barcelona fall through at the very last moment, will stay with the current South American and World Club champions for the remainder of this season before linking up with Milan next summer.

In any eventuality, a new deal will not be signed by the player until the end of next season, with Milan president Silvio Berlusconi and coach Fatih Terim also desperate to finalise other potential deals.

Out-of-contract striker Oliver Bierhoff, who has been on the transfer list throughout the summer, has yet to find new employers despite Monaco, Olympique Marseille and English Premiership club Southampton have tabled offers for the German hitman. Nevertheless he is expected to leave the Giuseppe Meazza soon.

As for Dida, the Brazilian involved in the false passport scandal, the Rossoneri's attempts to sell him to a foreign club have been stepped up ever since it was announced he is likely to be granted permission to play abroad (as was the case with fellow passport rebel Alvaro Recoba of Inter Milan).

The young Brazilian keeper has already reportedly rejected a move to last season's UEFA Cup finalists Alaves of Spain.

Totti: "Inter is the strongest"
21.8 || webmaster

Roma captain Francesco Totti has tipped Internazionale to provide the fiercest competition to his side this season. "Everyone knows how dangerous Juventus, Milan and Lazio can be but I think Hector Cuper's Inter could be the biggest surprise," he said.

Roma ended 18 years without a Scudetto last term, but Inter have been on top form during pre-season, beating Real Madrid for the first time in 34 years at the Bernabeu and defeating Serie A rivals Juventus and Lazio.

Striker Christian Vieri, who scored three times in the wins over Juve and Lazio, is also aware of his team's potential. "Our opponents will have real problems when Ronaldo is back to partner me," he said.

But Totti, whose side face Palermo in their last friendly before the start of the new season on Wednesday, reckons his side are well equipped to deal with the challenge.

"Roma are in great shape and have a strong team. But what's most important is that is the way we feel, too," he said.

"A team acquires the right personality only through winning and that's what we've been doing over the past few months. We know that we're stronger than last year and we want to confirm that on the pitch."

The striker is also impressed with £20 million new-signing Antonio Cassano. "Cassano is a very strong player. He has unbelievable confidence on the ball," he said.

The 18-year-old is also enjoying playing alongside Totti, with whom he has struck up a friendship. "I think he has respect for me. He flashed me a smile after I scored against Ajax," said Cassano.

"I have a good rapport with him as he is like Eugenio Fascetti at Bari - tough but fair. Francesco is always kind to me and Gabriel Batistuta is also very encouraging."

Totti had said that Roma did not need to sign another defender, but backtracked when he remembered that coach Fabio Capello has made shoring up the defence a priority.

"If the coach has asked for a new defender, then he has good reason for doing so," he said. "I don't want to give my suggestions to Capello. He is capable of making his own choices as he is a master of the trade."

Pep waits for Milan call
20.8 || webmaster

Former Barca skipper Pep Guardiola is expecting a call from AC Milan, who may be interested in taking the player to Serie A for the new season.
Guardiola, 31, decided not to renew his contract with Barca to try his luck abroad, but finding a club that matches his criteria has not been easy. The Spanish international was linked to a move to Juventus a couple of weeks ago but it seems that Milan are the closest to landing the Blaugrana idol.

Guardiola's agent Jose Maria Orobitg has been in touch with Milan about a possible deal but as of the moment nothing concrete has been agreed. The player is hoping that will all change by the end of this week and he will be able to join the rossoneri for the new season.

Fatih Terim's Milan are having problems in the midfield with Demetrio Albertini out injured and Fernando Redondo just coming back from a lengthy spell out of the game.

Terim: "I'm worried"
19.8 || webmaster

Fatih Terim was far from impressed by his Milan’s debut at the San Siro. The Rossoneri lost the Berlusconi Trophy to Juventus on penalties after the 1-1 draw, but the new Coach confessed, "We have to trust in this team, but at this stage I'm also worried."

The Turk tried to justify the performance with the emotional strain of making their debut in front of the home crowd. "We started this game very badly as all the players were tense at this first time, but then so was I," admitted the former Fiorentina manager.


"In the first half Juventus played better than we did, although without that goal after just five minutes the match could have gone in another direction. We used the half-time break well,"
explained The Emperor, to clear up a few ideas. "We all started pressing as a group and in the final 25 minutes we trapped Juve in their own half."


Juventus took the Berlusconi Trophy 3-2 on penalties after Alessandro Del Piero's 5th-minute strike and a late Serginho spot-kick had sealed the draw. Gianluigi Buffon saved three out of five penalty attempts.

Stam turns on Inzaghi family
19.8 || webmaster

Jaap Stam has launched an astonishing attack on Italy strikers Filippo and Simone Inzaghi. He accused AC Milan's new signing Filippo of "cheating his way through a game", and said that after he had a row with Simone, he "would have felt more threatened by a Teletubby".

Stam's latest controversial comments come in his new autobiography Head to Head, which is published later this week.

The Manchester United defender came up against Filippo three times when the striker was with Juventus and playing for Italy. The forward, who has scored twice in these encounters, once told the press that he thought the Dutchman was slow.

Stam hits back by calling Inzaghi "one of my least favourite players in the glorious game".

"Maybe he's a friendly guy off the pitch, but the way he plays football annoys and frustrates me greatly," he said, before claiming that Inzaghi is "always diving and moaning to the referee".

"The slightest touch and he goes down. Even if you are just walking by him and give him a nudge he's down like he's been hit by a sniper. It's an Italian trait, but he takes it to extremes. I simply can't stand the way the guy cheats his way through a game."

Elsewhere in the book Stam claims that Alex Ferguson made an illegal approach to sign him while he was still at PSV Eindhoven, describes Edgar Davids screaming abuse at David Beckham in the players' tunnel, criticises Michael Owen for his poor ball control, and swingles out Patrick Vieira for using his elbows and "sly kicks".

Now the Dutchman – usually a quiet man - has made trouble for himself in Italy too. He followed up his verbal tirade against Filippo with a stinging attack on his younger brother Simone.

Stam described the day when he accidentally broke Simone's nose in the European Super Cup match between United and Lazio in 1999.

"Typical of his family, the man felt cheated," explained Stam. "The threats started to pump out as fast as the red stuff. I couldn't understand the words, but the body language was pretty clear. 'I'll slit your throat and break your legs' he might as well have shouted."

But Stam added that he "would have felt more threatened by a Teletubby. Did he search me out later to follow through his threats? What do you think?"

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted on Sunday that he was surprised by the content in the book: "I know Jaap is very regretful about it all. He's got a bit of making up to do in the dressing-room.

"To write a book like that means that he was badly advised. He never got permission from the club to write it. I never knew he was writing a book and I was stunned when a director phoned me up to tell me."

Stam has told a friend that he cannot understand the controversy that Head to Head has started. "There's nothing in the book," he shrugged.

Lippi satisfied, critical Rui Costa
19.8 || webmaster

Juventus took the Berlusconi trophy on a penalty shoot-out but this match gave both teams something to think about in the run-up to the Serie A season opener. The tie ended 1-1 with goals from Alessandro Del Piero and a Serginho spot-kick.

"It was a real game and I am satisfied with the performance," was Marcello Lippi's first comment after lifting the trophy. "We played very well for an hour, then a series of fitness problems forced me to completely change the squad with four substitutions. But despite everything we fought till the end and I can only be satisfied with such a good display."

The Bianconeri manager had tried out a new tactical set-up with defender Igor Tudor in a midfield position similar to that used by Kakha Kaladze for Milan. "It went well, very well, and this can represent another alternative while we await the return of Edgar Davids", noted Lippi.


One of the only disappointing notes for Juve in this win was David Trezeguet, who set up the opening goal after five minutes but barely touched the ball for the rest of the game. "David has particular characteristics," explained Lippi, "he hits peak form a little later than the other players."

The Juventus Coach then fielded the inevitable questions on new buy Marcelo Salas, who will join his new teammates next week following his £13m move from Lazio. "I am happy for Del Piero as he had a great performance tonight including the goal."

When asked if the Italian international would be forced back into Zinedine Zidane's role with the arrival of the Chilean, Lippi noted, "Not necessarily. We could even play with three strikers upfront, who knows?"


Del Piero seemed slightly less convinced of this and when asked about the new arrival he curtly commented, "If an important player like Darko Kovacevic has gone, then another important player like Salas has arrived"

The man known as both Pinturicchio and Godot was nonetheless pleased with his own performance. "All I have to think about is playing and maintaining my fitness, the rest will come by itself"

On the Milan end of the trophy match, Manuel Rui Costa remained relatively critical of his side's debut at the San Siro. "It was a good match considering that these were two teams who will be fighting for Lo Scudetto and so close to the season", commented the Portuguese star.

"We did better than on other occasions but we can do so much more if we find better movement for the strikers upfront. We need to speed up the whole build-up play, starting from me and if necessary I will do much more work off the ball."


The Berlusconi Trophy has been played at the San Siro for ten years but only since 1995 has it been a constant battle between Milan and Juventus. It was here that the claims of a curse on the winners arose.


Aug 23 1991: Milan 1-2 Juventus (Milan won Scudetto, Juventus 2nd)


Aug 22 1992; Milan 1-0 Inter (Milan won Scudetto, Inter 2nd)


Aug 17 1993: Milan 3-2 Real Madrid (Milan won Scudetto)


Aug 17 1994: Milan 1-0 Bayern Munich (Milan 4th)


Aug 18 1995: Milan 0-0 Juventus, 5-6 on pens (Milan won Scudetto, Juventus 2nd)


Aug 21 1996: Milan 1-0 Juventus (Juventus won Scudetto, Milan 11th)


Aug 19 1997: Milan 3-1 Juventus (Juventus won Scudetto, Milan 10th)


Aug 25 1998: Milan 1-2 Juventus (Milan won Scudetto, Juventus 6th)


Aug 17 1999: Milan 0-1 Juventus (Juventus 2nd, Milan 3rd)


Aug 27 2000: Milan 2-2 Juventus, 6-7 on pens (Juventus 2nd, Milan 6th)

Berlusconi Trophy: Juve wins on penalties
18.8 || webmaster

The traditional Berlusconi Trophy went to penalties after a hard-fought and occasionally ill-tempered match at the San Siro. £32m buy Gianluigi Buffon was the hero with three penalty saves out of five Milan attempts to give the Juventus this unusual trophy that some consider to bring bad luck to the winners.

Marcello Lippi fielded an experimental Juventus side with Igor Tudor in a midfield position similar to that taken by Kakha Kaladze at Milan. It was immediately a fast-paced affair and Alessandro Del Piero turned in the loose ball after Christian Abbiati had only fingertipped David Trezeguet's shot.


Filippo Inzaghi almost grabbed a goal against his former teammates but his diving header shaved the far post with the keeper beaten. Superpippo also requested a penalty for Mark Iuliano's tug, but the referee waived on.


Gianluigi Buffon made fine saves on Serginho, Javi Moreno and Manuel Rui Costa. But Juventus were always dangerous on the counter-attack as Tudor's angled drive thumped the far post while Del Piero and Enzo Maresca fired over from good positions.


It was an increasingly ill-tempered match, characterised by a scuffle between Iuliano and Manuel Rui Costa. The tension rose when Ciro Ferrara and Javi Moreno clashed and the referee awarded a penalty. Serginho converted to bring the two sides level 11 minutes from time.


This trophy has an unusual reputation attached to it as many claim winning the Cup brings bad luck. For many years the losing team went on to win the Scudetto, a tradition that only came to an end with the dominance of the Roman clubs in the last two seasons.


Zvonimir Boban also took the chance to wave goodbye to the home fans after nine years with the Rossoneri shirt. The veteran was visibly moved at the lone lap of honour around the pitch as the crowd chanted his name. The Croatian international will be moving to Spanish side Celta Vigo this summer.


Milan 1-1 Juventus (2-3 on penalties)

Scorers: Del Piero 5, Serginho pen 79


Milan: Abbiati; Contra (Helveg 71), Laursen, Maldini, Coco (Donati 46); Gattuso, Kaladze, Serginho; Rui Costa; Inzaghi, Shevchenko (Javi Moreno 71)


Juventus: Buffon; Zenoni, Thuram (Davids 80), Iuliano (Ferrara 69), Pessotto (Birindelli 65); Zambrotta, Tudor, Tacchinardi, Nedved (Maresca 67); Del Piero, Trezeguet


Ref: Paparesta


Penalty shoot-out: Javi Moreno (Saved), Del Piero (Saved), Donati (Saved), Davids (Scored), Rui Costa (Scored), Maresca (Scored), Serginho (Scored), Birindelli (Scored), Inzaghi (Saved)

Rui Costa's Milan ambitions
18.8 || webmaster

Manuel Rui Costa does not believe in superstitions as his Milan team gear up for the ‘cursed’ Berlusconi Trophy final against Juventus.
The Portuguese player says that even tough winning the traditional pre-season cup does usually mean that the Italian Serie A will be lost to somebody else, he still wants to beat Juventus in the final on Saturday night.

The bianconeri won the last two editions of the trophy and ended up in second place both years in the title race, but the former Fiorentina star says that this record means absolutely nothing.

He says: "I don't care about superstitions. All I care about is to win and two of the potential Scudetto winners will face each other. Juventus together with Inter have really impressed me because they've made quite revolutionary changes. But Roma are still a very well built team."

In the meantime Milan's management has announced that over 50,000 tickets have been sold for the game that will see the rossoneri against the bianconeri at the San Siro.

Berlusconi Trophy: Lippi announces line-up
18.8 || webmaster

In an interview on Juventus' website, Marcello Lippi announced the lineup he will field on Sunday against Milan for the Luigi Berlusconi trophy clash. "At least for a part of the match, I'll try Tudor as a midfielder, alongside Tacchinardi," the Tuscan said. "This is not the first time a defender plays in the middle, and Igor already played in that position in Croatia."

Juve are supposed to play with the 4-4-2. Birindelli and Zenoni will alternate in the position of right defender, Tudor and Maresca in that of central midfielder. Thuram and Iuliano will form the central defensive core, with Pessotto on the left, Zambrotta and Nedved on the wings, Tacchinardi playmaker and Del Piero and Trezeguet leading the offensive line.

Second place will do says Albertini
18.8 || webmaster

Demetrio Albertini has revealed that he would be happy to finish the new season in second place. The Milan midfielder admitted that the most important thing was for the side to fight until the very end of the season for honours.

"In Italy there is the belief that if you come second you have failed. But to fight until the very end is our minimum objective. But should we finish second then we can’t be labelled as failures, especially as in recent seasons championships have been won by single points," he said.

"We must aim for first place because our squad is strong enough to do so and everyone here is excited for the season ahead. Last term we wanted to finish in the top four and in the end we came sixth. This time around we must just have first place in our mind all of the time."

Albertini, who missed most of last term through injury, also commented on when he could be back in action with the Rossoneri after struggling with a knee problem.

"I should be in full training next week but it might be some time before I’m back on the pitch. It is useless at this stage to set a date. I just need to see how my knee reacts to a few practice games. I might be fit enough for Week 2 or 3 of the season though."

The Italian international has been impressed with this new look Milan, despite the side being criticised by some for a lack of defensive quality.

"I don’t agree with the flack that we’ve received," he added. "Up until now I’ve liked our performances because every time we attack we look dangerous. I’ve worked very little under Terim but I’ve spoken to him on many occasions. I like his personality and he’s very motivated and very enthusiastic. He wants to show that he is a great Coach and that he has the ability to win in Italy."

On his favourites for the title, Albertini conceded that Roma were still the team to catch. "They remain the side to be beaten because they have changed very little and look just as strong as last season. I think that all the sides that were in contention last year, apart from Parma, will yet again have a say. As always there will be five or six sides fighting for the Champions’ League places."

Berlusconi tournament - Milan vs. Juve - match preview
17.8 || webmaster

Tomorrow's match against Milan will be the last one of the pre-season for Juventus. Next Sunday, in the first Serie A round, the bianconeri will host Venezia at the Delle Alpi and for this reason, Marcello Lippi thinks that the traditional "Luigi Berlusconi" trophy will be a very important test.


"At this point of the season, every match is fundamental in order to reach the best shape" he said. "I expect my team to improve, especially on the physical side, and in this view I think that the midweek international friendlies helped us a lot."


His Milan counterpart Fatih Terim has his own reasons for wanting the win. "It is named after our president of course, but another reason is that it will give us a valuable view of our position against the high quality opposition of Juventus," Terim said. "So far, I am pleased with the improvements we are making. I’ve had nine players missing recently due to the international calls, but the players who have been available have continued the good work.

Berlusconi lawyer plans Fiorentina buy out
17.8 || webmaster

A business associate of AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi is bidding to take over Serie A crisis club Fiorentina. "Berlusconi is not involved in this affair," insisted Luigi Santedicola, a lawyer for the Italian premier.

Santedicol's firm, the Vittorio Eamanuele Falsitta lawyer's practice, claim to represent "a group of industrial people from Prato and Roma".

The group is interested in buying the club and the training ground, where they want to build a shopping mall and leisure complex.

Santedicol said the group would make a decision on the planned buy-out by September 15. "We want to see all the documents," he stressed.

A tribunal gave the club's administrators until then to put the finances in order.

The authorities want to know what happened to the money for pre-sold season tickets, television rights and the transfer of Edmundo to Napoli.

Former owner Vittorio Cecchi Gori has promised to resolve the issue by selling his mansion in Rome and other property interests.

But Fiorentina may be forced to off-load more of their star players with striker Enrico Chiesa seen as the most likely to go.

Albertini close to full recovery
17.8 || webmaster

After 4 months, Demetrio Albertini seems to be close to complete recovery. The experienced midfielder, who suffered a bad knee injury and underwent surgery last May, was finally allowed to kick the ball.


Starting from next week, Albertini will train with the rest of the team, and hopes to be back soon: "I still can't play the training matches and I just can't wait," he said. "After the surgery, I have never felt pain and this makes me optimistic, but it's too early to say when I'll be back. Hopefully in the second or third round."


Milan spent the second part of last season without a reliable playmaker, since two more central midfielders, Massimo Ambrosini and Fernando Redondo, suffered bad injuries.

Terim wants Juventus win
16.8 || webmaster

Milan boss Fatih Terim has expressed his desire to win the Berlusconi Trophy on Saturday in the yearly San Siro fixture against Juventus.

"Every single game is important but we are particularly focussed to win the Trofeo Berlusconi," said the Turkish boss. "One because it is named after our President, but another because of the quality of our opponents in Juventus."

Terim is also confident that his side will be able to win the prestigious friendly. "Day after day I see improvements. I’ve had nine players missing over the past couple of days due to international games but who has remained has continued the good work. Today everybody should be back and then on Saturday we have our last friendly game."

The former Fiorentina boss also appealed for the fans to get behind their team for the match against their old rivals. "I hope that the San Siro is full because this side is getting better and better. I just hope that we can continue on this road."

Javi Moreno hit six in Milan warm up
16.8 || webmaster

New striker Javi Moreno scored six goals as AC Milan trounced amateur side Dairaghese 20-0. Italy forward Filippo Inzaghi scored five.

Milan were without nine internationals but completely ripped Dairaghese apart.

It is not clear what coach Fatih Terim got out of the trouncing – but Moreno will have given his confidence a boost ahead of the Serie A start.

Inzaghi added another five, Andriy Shevchenko hit four, while youngsters Aubameyang and Aliyu hit a brace each.

Spanish striker Jose Mari also hit the target as Milan prepared for this weekend's Berlusconi tournament game against Juventus.

Milan Abbiati (Rossi); Brocchi, Costacurta, Maldini (Aubameyang), Coco; José Mari (Aliyu), Donadel, Kaladze, Serginho; Javi Moreno, Shevchenko (Inzaghi)

Terim notes AC improvement
16.8 || webmaster

Fatih Terim says his AC Milan side are slowly but surely improving since he took the reins at the San Siro at the end of the last season.
After yet another summer friendly against Dairaghese, which served as a way of evaluating his

players' fitness before the Berlusconi Trophy clash against Juve on Saturday, Terim said:

"Everyday I see improvements, we are training very well."

"I am still missing nine players who are away with their national teams but those who have stayed have worked very well."

"A lot of things are changing and everyday we have to keep on growing up. I hope time will tell that we've made the right choices."

Meanwhile regarding the game with Juve , Terim says he wants his boys to do their best to win.

"This competition really means a lot to us," he added. "First of all because it was named after the father of our president and secondly because we will have a very tough opponent to beat. I hope San Siro will be full of cheering fans."

Bierhoff told to 'get real' over wages
15.8 || webmaster

Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe has implored Oliver Bierhoff to lower his £30,000-a-week wage demands or see his chance of a Premiership move disappear. "We are not Manchester United and he is not 25 anymore," he said.

Bolton Wanderers became the latest club to join the hunt for the AC Milan and Germany striker on Wednesday when coach Sam Allardyce confirmed he had made a firm offer.

But it seems unlikely to be enough, if Lowe is right. "Oliver Bierhoff's wage demands are extremely high and I am not prepared to disrupt team harmony to that extent," he said.

"His career would be very well served with us at Southampton and of course he is an outstanding player who would be a major asset to the side.

"His experience and success in European and international football is of the highest order and he is an exemplary ambassador for both football and his country. But we need some reality in negotiations."

It is believed that Southampton have offered to make Bierhoff the highest paid player in the club's history, although the chairman refused to elaborate on the details.

"His representatives know the figures we are talking about and we are still hopeful that a deal can be struck," he said.

Real Betis and Marseille have dropped out of the running, but Bolton boss Allardyce claimed on Wednesday: "He can come here. I was told he wants to come to the Premiership, so we told them the figures we could offer.

"I haven't had an answer on that part yet, but if Oliver does genuinely want to come to play in England, he can."

Bolton have signed former Silkeborg striker Henrik Pedersen for £600,000 ahead of their return to the Premiership, which starts on Saturday against Leicester City at Filbert Street.

But the Trotters have pulled out of a move for Paris Saint-Germain central defender Sylvain Distin.

Baljic closes in on Milan move
15.8 || webmaster

Bosnian international Elvir Baljic is closing in on a move to Milan after being told he does not have a future at Real Madrid.
The player's agent, Dino Pasalic, will have talks with Real officials over the next few days in a bid to clear the way for a move to Italy, where Fatih Terim is keen to add the player to his squad at the San Siro.

Baljic, currently preparing for the match with Malta, said: "I think that this job could be done in the next seven or 10 days. I don't have time to wait anymore.

"Vincente Del Bosque told me that he is not counting on me in his starting line-up for this season and I think that the best thing for me is to move somewhere else. I hope that place will be Milan."

Baljic has received offers from a number of clubs in recent times, including a very tempting offer from Napoli, but the player has insisted that he is not interested in a move to the Italian Serie B.

"That is not for me," he added. "I also had offers from Bordeaux, Tenerife and Real Sociedad, but I think they are not good places for me."

Bolton line up Bierhoff swoop
15.8 || webmaster

Bolton Wanderers are the latest outfit to try and lure AC Milan's German international striker Oliver Bierhoff to the Premiership.
Bolton boss Sam Allardyce has earmarked the Euro 96 winner as the man to lead his strikeforce as his side embark on their first season back in the top flight.

Bierhoff has expressed a desire to try his luck in England but has already seen a proposed move to Southampton collapse because of his wage demands.

Allardyce has been frantically putting together a package after being contacted by agents working on behalf of the player.

"I would like to have Bierhoff here. I was told he wants to come to the Premiership, so we told them the figures we could offer," Allardyce told the Daily Sport.

"I haven't had an answer on that part yet, but if Oliver does genuinely want to come to play in England, he can come here."

One potential stumbling block could be the player's wage demands. Bierhoff, 33, has already turned his back on the chance to join Southampton after they were unable to meet his personal terms, and newly-promoted Fulham cooled their interest in the player after learning of his demands.

Abbiati looking for a World Cup place
15.8 || webmaster

Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati is hoping that he can impress sufficiently with his club this term in order to win a place at the 2002 World Cup Finals.

"Milan come before everything else even if I think that if I do well with my club then obviously I could be rewarded elsewhere," he said.

Abbiati, Italy’s third choice at Euro 2000, is hoping to make a real impact this season after being dropped by the San Siro club towards the end of the last campaign in favour of veteran Sebastiano Rossi.

However, Abbiati has started this term as the new No 1 and he’s hopeful for the forthcoming campaign.

"There’s an enormous amount of enthusiasm around us at the moment and this great squad is now just looking to understand what boss Fatih Terim wants as we aim to strike the right balance between individual departments," he said.

The 24-year-old added: "I think this could be the closest title race for years because of the competitiveness of the sides involved.

"All the clubs who had problems have strengthened their squads. Roma are the team to beat but I would personally bet on Juventus. They and Inter have a lot to prove."

The AC Milan Team presentation by Reuters
14.8 || webmaster

by Nadia Carminati (Dailysports N.V.)

During the club's official presentation, Milan chief executive Mr. Galliani said that this year's transfer-campaign has been as good as that of in 1987 when famous Dutch stars Van Basten and Gullit arrived. One may agree with Galliani or not. However, newcomers Rui Costa and Filippo Inzaghi are considered to be the most important Milan signings, besides, the skillful players such as Contra and Javi Moreno, Donati, Pirlo and Brocchi arrived. Fatih Terim, the new coach of already sparkling Milan, is sure he will use all the players that are at his disposal as his team will perform in three competitions at the time, that is the Italian Championship, Italian Cup and UEFA Cup.

It is clear that in any case an ideal formation for Terim is 4-3-1-2. Turkish coach seemed to be confident in Christian Abbiati as his first choice while veteran keeper Sebastiano Rossi will be number two in Milan. In the centre of the defense line Georgian international Kakha Kaladze will play alongside with team's captain and leader Paolo Maldini. Terim admitted that Kaladze would be more useful as a defender while he played in the position of midfielder last season. Turk seems to have no problem in this line, as Costacurta is ready to replace Kaladze when necessary. The recent arrival of Martin Laursen opens new opportunities for Terim: that's to say, the Danish player could play at Kaladze's place while the Georgian could be utilized by the coach in the centre of midfield before Albertini's return on the pitch. Contra (right) and Coco (left) respectively will be the other two defenders. In the first part of the season Terim would have many problems in midfield because of the absences of Albertini, Ambrosini and Redondo, who are recovering from injures now.

At present Terim must count on other players. Eccentric Gattuso will cover right wing, while young Massimo Donati arrived from Atalanta will replace Albertini in the centre. The ideal substitution for Ambrosini on the left flank seems to be Brazilian Serginho. After Ambrosini's recovery, Serginho may play as a left-back as well. Milan's attacking line, one of the best in Serie A with that of Roma's, consists of Rui Costa, Inzaghi, Shevchenko, being the main hope of Milan's supporters. The pillar of the above-mentioned triangle is undoubtedly Manuel Rui Costa, his extreme creativeness being the talk of the town. He arrived to wear Milan jersey after difficult negotiations with Fiorentina, culminated with his refusal to move to Parma.

In Italy the egoism of Inzaghi is considered to be one of his main characteristics. He always denied the fact saying that on the pitch he often hasn't noticed his teammates. But in Milan it would be better both for him and the team if he notices Shevchenko! One could observe overfalls in the Ukrainian forward's performance last season in spite of the fact he scored 24 goals in Serie A. This year he is able to do better with the help of Inzaghi and Costa. So Milan is a team who will impose their style on the others. Terim is well aware about this fact but he also knows that his team is a little overbalanced on attack.

The wings, Gattuso and Serginho have the habit to play more in attack than in defense and this fact may create some difficulties for Turkish coach. In spite of the minor problems, Milan seems to be the main favorite to win Serie A title. As captain Paolo Maldini said, Milan's chances for "scudetto" are as high as that of the Roma's and Juventus'.

http://www.dailysoccer.com

We're just as strong as Roma blasts Maldini
14.8 || webmaster

Paolo Maldini has fired a warning to his former boss Fabio Capello by claiming that Milan are just as strong as Italian champions Roma.

"This season’s Milan has caught up with Roma in terms of the balance of the squad and the technical qualities of the players," said the Italy captain. "The arrival of many top class players like Manuel Rui Costa and Pippo Inzaghi has helped reduced the difference between us and them.

"Rui Costa is already proving to be an inspiration and I really do hope that he turns out to be the championship’s best player."

The Milan legend though is aware that it won’t be a two horse race for the title, touting city rivals Inter as possible Scudetto candidates. "Hector Cuper’s side have shown well. There are some new players but some important players have also remained. They seem to have a different mentality and a new way of playing."

As for so-called favourites Juventus, Maldini isn’t so impressed with their sales. "To lose Zidane would be a blow for any side. Now the Bianconeri must learn how to play in a new manner."

Meanwhile, Maldini’s new teammate Javi Moreno has been raving about his new club. "Milan are really one of the greatest sides in the world," said the Spanish signing from Alaves. "Here they have five different physio’s for different parts of the body. It’s a privilege to be at a club of such stature."

Football Italia

Bierhoff offers to quit Germany captaincy
14.8 || webmaster

Out-of-form Oliver Bierhoff has offered to step down as Germany captain on the eve of his country's friendly against Hungary. The unwanted AC Milan striker also admitted his move to Real Betis was dead, but said he still had hope of a deal with Southampton.

Bierhoff, who fired Germany to success at Euro 96 with a golden goal in the final, has struggled to hold down a place in Rudi Voller's national XI recently and, as public pressure mounts, appears to have bowed to the inevitable.

"Before we left for Hungary, I spoke with Rudi Voller about my situation and said to him that if he wants to end the public dispute about the captaincy I'd be ready to step down," he told Bild on Tuesday.

The Germany boss has so far not commented about Bierhoff's offer, but recently said he would decide about the captaincy after the World Cup qualifiers with England and Finland.

Bayern Munich keeper Oliver Kahn will deputise for Bierhoff against Hungary in Budapest on Wednesday, another game the striker is unlikely to start.

Voller has played Bayern giant Carsten Jancker instead of Bierhoff in recent games and the 33-year-old admitted that his career has gone off the rails since losing his first-team status at Milan.

He said: "My career might struggle these days, but I have to be grateful and humble for what I've had - five great years, becoming a European champion in 1996 and winning the Scudetto with Milan in 1998."

Bierhoff endured poor spells in the Bundesliga with Uerdingen, Hamburg and Monchengladbach before making his name in Austria, then with Serie B side Ascoli.

He broke into the Germany team while playing at Udinese and his career was kickstarted in Euro 96 when his two goals sealed Germany's third European title in the Wembley win over the Czech Republic.

He left Udinese for Milan and helped them win the 1998 title before he succeeded Jurgen Klinsmann as national captain after the World Cup in France and was voted player of the year in Germany.

Bierhoff, who married his long-term girlfriend during the summer and is also focusing on finishing his diploma in economics, has been told by Voller that he needs to play regular first-team football if he is serious about going to the 2002 World Cup.

Finding a new club which meets his expectations has not been easy, however. "The Betis deal is dead, but Southampton, for example, is still an possibility," he told Bild.

onefootball.com

Javi Moreno is very confident
14.8 || webmaster

AC Milan striker Javi Moreno is convinced that with a lot of hard work he will be able to earn himself a place alongside Shevchenko and Inzaghi:

“I’m very happy that I’ve joined Milan and even if it will be difficult at the beginning to face space in the first eleven.

I hope to earn myself a place alongside Sheva and Pippo. Since my arrival in Milanello the team has helped me feel at home and the manager Terim talks to me often and I now feel the faith of the whole enviroment and all I need is the occasion to repay all this trust.”

soccerage.com

Maldini happy with new-boys
14.8 || webmaster

Milan's Paolo Maldini says he is extremely pleased but not surprised to see that the new players on the team are already gelling in.
He believes that the likes of Rui Costa and Martin Laursen are already playing as if they were veterans of the rossoneri.

He said: "Everything's going fine. But I'm not really surprised to see that our new players have already found their form.

"Filippo Inzaghi and Rui Costa have been playing in the Italian Serie A for ages and they certainly know how to their job.

"Martin Laursen comes from a different environment but he arrived already being in good shape and very fit. It's not true that I recommended him to the management but he will surely come in handy with the injuries we'll surely get."

internetsoccer.com

Ex-coach Maldini linked with Tunisia job
13.8 || webmaster

Cesare Maldini is set to be approached by the Tunisian Football Association to become their next national boss. The North African nation are set to fire current Coach Krauzman after his indifferent spell in charge.

The German boss was handed the reigns when Italian Franco Scoglio quit the job to take over at Serie B side Genoa last season.

Tunisian officials are believed to be ready to meet with the former Italian national boss to start talks over his possible appointment. Maldini, who last season took charge of the Rossoneri from the sacked Alberto Zaccheroni, is currently head of the club’s scouting division.

Football Italia

Gattuso confident over Scudetto challenge
13.8 || webmaster

Gennaro Gattuso has admitted that the fight for the Scudetto next season will be as tight as ever but he’s confident that Milan will have their say. "It could go to the last day again but we’ll be fighting until the very last kick of the season," he said.

The Italian international, who starts his third season at the San Siro after his 1999 switch from Salernitana, has admitted that Milan’s major rivals for the title may be close to home.

"Inter have impressed me and they’ve been playing consistently well," he revealed. "It’s been some time since I’ve seen them in that sort of form. Let’s not forget Roma who are the current champions or Lazio who I think have signed some excellent players."

The former Glasgow Rangers terrier, who was wanted by Juventus towards the end of last season, added that he is content with how the Rossoneri have progressed since Fatih Terim’s arrival.

"We’re satisfied with what we’ve done in pre-season. However, we’re aware that there is still a lot of work to be done. We just want to continue working as we have done so that we are fully prepared for when the season starts."

Gattuso concluded: "We’ve improved immensely over the past few weeks and the changes in our form and physical condition is visible. Obviously when a side wins as we have been doing, the group is happier and you tend to work better."

Football Italia

Milan's target Beckham considering United job
13.8 || webmaster

David Beckham has hinted that his future at Manchester United may depend on who the club appoint to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson. "I would like to know who the next manager is. I don't feel under any pressure to sign a new contract yet," he said.

United hoped the England skipper would commit to a long-term deal before the start of the season, but negotiations are still ongoing.

"I've always said that I've never been in a rush. I love Manchester United and I want to stay," he declared. "As far as I'm concerned, three lots of talks have gone on and they've gone quite well.

"I'm a United fan and I do want to stay at the club. It's where I've won things, it's where my best friends are and my family like coming to watch me. Those are important things for me.

"There is always going to be speculation about whether I'm going to go to another club, up until I sign my new contract, but there's nothing wrong and when it's right, I'll sign.

"There are more talks in September and we'll see what happens then," he added.

Beckham still has two years left on his contract, but United do not want to get to next summer without his signature on a new contract, as they would then risk losing him on a Bosman free transfer 12 months later.

The summer signings of Juan Veron and Ruud van Nistelrooy pleased Beckham, as did Sir Alex Ferguson's agreement to stay on at Old Trafford in a new role, but he has always made it clear that the terms will have to be right.

The midfielder is expected to demand wages of around £100,000 a week to put him on a par with the highest earners in the sport.

onefootball.com

Maldini backing Milan for honours
13.8 || webmaster

AC Milan's veteran defender Paolo Maldini is ready to bet that this will be the rossoneri's year but says Juve are one of the title favourites.
"We are working very well with (AC Milan coach) Fatih Terim and I can already see the changes he's made to this squad," said Maldini to the italian press. "The strikers are pressing more and this helps the whole team. Everybody is doing a fine job including Martin Laursen, who has just joined us and is already playing well."

Of Milan's opponents Maldini says: "Juve will surely be among the favourites for this Serie A campaign but I am very impressed by the work that Hector Cuper has done with Inter Milan. However, I believe we've got all it takes to do very well."

Meanwhile, Milan's top striker Andrij Shevchenko says that working with his new team mate Filippo Inzaghi has proven to be very easy so far and also says that he has comfortably adapted to Terim's new game-plan:

"Even though we've played together only for a little while Inzaghi and I already do pretty well together," said Sheva to the club's website. "Inzaghi has a great talent in creating problems for our opponents. I love playing like this because it gives me the chance to move about a lot. This new game-plan we have with Terim is by far my favourite."

The Ukraine striker has also spoken about the major Serie A clubs that his team will have to defeat in order to win the Scudetto. He said: "Inter Milan are very much Christian Vieri oriented. It's difficult to judge now but I believe that all of their game centres around him. As a striker I hope he does well and finally has a season free from injuries.

"Juventus will probably have one of the strongest defences in Serie A but I am sure that the absence of such a talented player like Zinedine Zidane will affect them very much over the next few months."

internetsoccer.com

Serie A swoops for Beckham, Owen and Vieira
12.8 || webmaster

This season has not even started yet and already Serie A's biggest clubs are looking to 2002-03 with a particular eye for the Premiership.
The Italian press continues to maintain that Milan are holding a pre-contract deal for David Beckham when his current deal with Manchester United expires in July. Now Michael Owen and Patrick Vieira are also the subject of media speculation.


England international Owen is back on form after his injury problems and noted Anglophile Massimo Moratti wants him at Inter. The Nerazzurri President is prepared to offer £27m cash plus Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf for a total £40m bid. Lazio, who sealed an option on the Liverpool starlet several seasons ago, could pose a problem.


Juventus are also in the news as their attempts to woo Patrick Vieira to Turin continue. I Bianconeri are hoping that the presence of fellow French internationals David Trezeguet and Lilian Thuram will convince him to put his previous bad experience with Milan aside and give Serie A another try.

Juve would offer Arsenal £25m for the unsettled midfielder, perhaps including a star player as part of the deal.


Juventus are also rumoured to be preparing a swoop for Lazio striker Hernan Crespo. The move is out of the question right now, especially as the Argentine has already featured in the Champions' League this season and so would be ineligible for this competition with any other club.

However, the Delle Alpi side are prepared to hand over £24m plus Trezeguet, even though they were reticent to hand over the French striker to Inter as part of the move for Christian Vieri earlier this summer.


Juventus would offer ex-Parma star Crespo, who only joined Lazio last season for a record-breaking £37m, a five-year contract worth over £3.5m per season.

Football Italia

Zizou loss will hurt Juve, says Sheva
11.8 || webmaster

AC Milan forward Andriy Shevchenko has claimed Juventus will struggle to come to terms with the loss of French star Zinedine Zidane this season.

The Ukraine star insisted that the Turin side were a shadow of the team that pushed Roma to the title last term after helping Milan clinch the pre-season TIM trophy in Austria with a 1-0 win over Juventus and drawing 0-0 against Internazionale.

"Of course they are weaker," he explained. "They are trying new things at the moment and I think they will find it difficult for the first few months - at least. Losing Zidane is a big blow.

"You can't just forget about someone like Zidane. It's never easy replacing great players like Zidane and [Filippo] Inzaghi," he added.

But Shevchenko added that Juve's defence looked more formidable than ever following the summer signings of Lilian Thuram and Gianluigi Buffon.

"They are very strong in that department," he admitted. "Not just in defence, but in midfield, where they have brought in Pavel Nedved. He is a vital player for them," claimed Shevchenko.

The former Dinamo Kyiv striker insisted that he was more impressed with city rivals Inter. "In Trieste I saw a new Inter," he revealed. "They looked more motivated and, in particular, Christian Vieri seemed to be a new man."

Shevchenko, though, was above all pleased with his own team's performance. "It's an important win for our morale," he claimed. "We'd lost our last two matches, but in these games we ran a lot and started to show our true colours."

Despite Shevchenko's claims, Inter coach Hector Cuper is convinced that Juventus will be a force in the coming season. "They are undoubtedly one of the favourites to win the Scudetto," claimed the former Valencia boss.

"I thought [Alessandro] Del Piero was terrific and is now playing in his correct position, while Thuram did not put a foot wrong."

Cuper is delighted with the progress his team have made since he arrived in the summer, despite drawing both games in Trieste 0-0. "They have worked hard in training and it is starting to pay off. They stick together out on pitch," he explained.

"If you work hard in training, you don't have to work so hard during the match because it is so much easier. They have started playing a quicker passing game and I thought we made life difficult for our opponents."

onefootball.com

Milan and Tenerife want Baljic
10.8 || webmaster

Milan and Tenerife are interested in Real's Elvir Baljic, with the Spanish club asking for him on loan and the Milan club trying to swap up the player for a fee of $10 million.

Although Elvir Baljic is discarded by Vicente Del Bosque to be in the first squad of Real Madrid this year, the "white" club doubts about the possibility of finally selling a player that arrived to the Santiago Bernabéus with an star aura. Baljic's desire, according to his agent, is being trasfered.

For this, with the offer of Milan, who is ready to pay $10 million for the player, it's estimated the one of Tenerife too, who wants him on loan to reinforce the squad of Pepe Mel in the season of the return of the "chicharreros" in Primera. Also, the milanist offer need the team of Silvio Berlusconi to sell before any of their forwards.

The will of Tenerife of getting Baljic crashes with the high wage the bosnian player gets, an amout close to the anual $1,5 million. This amount is very far of the capabilities of Tenerife. The possibility of him to end in the Heliodoro Rodríguez López need, then, Madrid to decide not to sell him and accept a reduce of his earnings.

http://www.calciostar.com

New offside rules announced
10.8 || webmaster

From this season the offside rule will take a radical new twist, announced the AIA Referees Association today. If a player is in an offside position but does not receive the ball, play can continue and he can come into contact with the sphere later on in the move. This puts an end to the often unclear interpretation on whether a player is interfering with play or not.

"The offside rule is as old as the sport of football itself," commented head of the AIA Bergamo, "but it's clear that in recent years the game has changed a great deal. It's much faster and there are new tactics for the defence. There have been mutations in the way offside is interpreted and we have taken this into account."

The new rules put an extra edge on to those teams who play the offside trap as it could become a dangerous game. Referees and for the first time linesmen spent a week training and studying how to apply the latest changes. "This way," explained linesmen President Gennaro Mazzei, "the collaboration between referees and linesmen will grow even stronger."

There are other changes to the rules effective from this season. Excessively tough tackling will be punished with greater severity, "to defend the footballers and the principle of this sport."

Referees will also be encouraged to explain their decisions on television where the "moviola" action replays are pored over by experts in literally dozens of programmes.


Younger and inexperienced referees will be given "easier" games to start out with, while a rotation system will rest one of the 20 men in black each week.

Football Italia

Italian players will strike this weekend
10.8 || webmaster

There will be no Serie C or Coppa Italia games this weekend after the Players’ Association (AIC) confirmed that a proposed player strike will go ahead. It was initially feared that only the Third Division would be affected but now the Italian Cup has also been included.

The strike action has been called by the AIC President Sergio Campana following the decision to allow foreign players into the lower Leagues. Players have complained that the lifting of the restrictions will see more of them lose their places to cheaper foreign imports.

An AIC statement read: "The strike is a protest against the actions of the Serie C chiefs and the stance taken by the Italian Football Association commissioner Gianni Petrucci."

Football Italia

Bright future for Milan says Galliani
10.8 || webmaster

Rossoneri vice-president Adriano Galliani is optimistic that this season will see a return to a competitive Milan. Galliani was heartened by the TIM Trophy win last night and picked out Martin Laursen, Rui Costa and Cosmin Contra for special praise.


"We played well and I liked what I saw," he said. "Milan’s performance confirmed the positive aspects that we’ve seen in recent games. Maldini has spoken very highly of Laursen and we’ve been tracking him for two years. He’s a defender of real quality. We’re convinced that we’ve made a great signing.


"I saw Rui Costa play very well and the performance of Contra was also good. I think that the criticism he’s received lately has been rather harsh. He may need to improve defensively but when he attacks he’s frightening."


The sales of season tickets have picked up following the heavy investment in players and Galliani believes that Milan will have the most season ticket holders in Italy before long. "I think this year we will be very close to having 50,000 holders," Galliani said. "We’re selling roughly 600 season tickets a day and the first home game is not until September 9th. I feel confident that we will have the highest amount of season ticket holders in Serie A this season."

soccerage.com

Betis move in for Bierhoff
10.8 || webmaster

Real Betis are in negotiations with AC Milan to sign former Germany captain Oliver Bierhoff on a year's loan. "Bierhoff would be just the man for the plans I want to put in place at the club," Betis coach Juande Ramos told onefootball.com.

Betis sports director Luis del Sol revealed on Friday that the striker's agent will jet into Spain on Saturday to thrash out a deal with the president of the Seville club Manuel Ruis de Lopera.

Ramos has already proved his desire to strengthen the team's attack by signing striker Victor Ikpeba from Borussia Dortmund and would be delighted to line up Bierhoff along side Ikpeba.

"I want a tank-like player who is physically strong," he told onefootball.

The only strikers the coach can currently play are Argentinians Gaston Casas and Gabriel Amato. Angel Manuel Cuellar has fallen out with the board for attacking a fan and below-par performances, while Jose Galvez has been sold to Burgos.

The potential stumbling block to the deal are Bierhoff's wages. The German is likely to demand a salary that would shatter the club's wage structure and put him on a better deal than Brazil star Denilson, the club's best paid player.

Andriy Shevchenko, Javi Moreno, Filippo Inzaghi and Jose Mari are all above Bierhoff in the pecking order at the San Siro – and the Milan club are happy to see the veteran go.

The 33-year-old is also desperate to leave as he fights to regain his place in Rudi Voller's national side.

"If I want to achieve my goal of playing in next year's World Cup finals, the there's no point wasting time sitting on the bench in Milan," Bierhoff said earlier this month.

onefootball.com

Maldini backing Milan for honours
13.8 || webmaster

AC Milan's veteran defender Paolo Maldini is ready to bet that this will be the rossoneri's year but says Juve are one of the title favourites.
"We are working very well with (AC Milan coach) Fatih Terim and I can already see the changes he's made to this squad," said Maldini to the italian press. "The strikers are pressing more and this helps the whole team. Everybody is doing a fine job including Martin Laursen, who has just joined us and is already playing well."

Of Milan's opponents Maldini says: "Juve will surely be among the favourites for this Serie A campaign but I am very impressed by the work that Hector Cuper has done with Inter Milan. However, I believe we've got all it takes to do very well."

Meanwhile, Milan's top striker Andrij Shevchenko says that working with his new team mate Filippo Inzaghi has proven to be very easy so far and also says that he has comfortably adapted to Terim's new game-plan:

"Even though we've played together only for a little while Inzaghi and I already do pretty well together," said Sheva to the club's website. "Inzaghi has a great talent in creating problems for our opponents. I love playing like this because it gives me the chance to move about a lot. This new game-plan we have with Terim is by far my favourite."

The Ukraine striker has also spoken about the major Serie A clubs that his team will have to defeat in order to win the Scudetto. He said: "Inter Milan are very much Christian Vieri oriented. It's difficult to judge now but I believe that all of their game centres around him. As a striker I hope he does well and finally has a season free from injuries.

"Juventus will probably have one of the strongest defences in Serie A but I am sure that the absence of such a talented player like Zinedine Zidane will affect them very much over the next few months."

internetsoccer.com

Serie A swoops for Beckham, Owen and Vieira
12.8 || webmaster

This season has not even started yet and already Serie A's biggest clubs are looking to 2002-03 with a particular eye for the Premiership.
The Italian press continues to maintain that Milan are holding a pre-contract deal for David Beckham when his current deal with Manchester United expires in July. Now Michael Owen and Patrick Vieira are also the subject of media speculation.


England international Owen is back on form after his injury problems and noted Anglophile Massimo Moratti wants him at Inter. The Nerazzurri President is prepared to offer £27m cash plus Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf for a total £40m bid. Lazio, who sealed an option on the Liverpool starlet several seasons ago, could pose a problem.


Juventus are also in the news as their attempts to woo Patrick Vieira to Turin continue. I Bianconeri are hoping that the presence of fellow French internationals David Trezeguet and Lilian Thuram will convince him to put his previous bad experience with Milan aside and give Serie A another try.

Juve would offer Arsenal £25m for the unsettled midfielder, perhaps including a star player as part of the deal.


Juventus are also rumoured to be preparing a swoop for Lazio striker Hernan Crespo. The move is out of the question right now, especially as the Argentine has already featured in the Champions' League this season and so would be ineligible for this competition with any other club.

However, the Delle Alpi side are prepared to hand over £24m plus Trezeguet, even though they were reticent to hand over the French striker to Inter as part of the move for Christian Vieri earlier this summer.


Juventus would offer ex-Parma star Crespo, who only joined Lazio last season for a record-breaking £37m, a five-year contract worth over £3.5m per season.

Football Italia

Zizou loss will hurt Juve, says Sheva
11.8 || webmaster

AC Milan forward Andriy Shevchenko has claimed Juventus will struggle to come to terms with the loss of French star Zinedine Zidane this season.

The Ukraine star insisted that the Turin side were a shadow of the team that pushed Roma to the title last term after helping Milan clinch the pre-season TIM trophy in Austria with a 1-0 win over Juventus and drawing 0-0 against Internazionale.

"Of course they are weaker," he explained. "They are trying new things at the moment and I think they will find it difficult for the first few months - at least. Losing Zidane is a big blow.

"You can't just forget about someone like Zidane. It's never easy replacing great players like Zidane and [Filippo] Inzaghi," he added.

But Shevchenko added that Juve's defence looked more formidable than ever following the summer signings of Lilian Thuram and Gianluigi Buffon.

"They are very strong in that department," he admitted. "Not just in defence, but in midfield, where they have brought in Pavel Nedved. He is a vital player for them," claimed Shevchenko.

The former Dinamo Kyiv striker insisted that he was more impressed with city rivals Inter. "In Trieste I saw a new Inter," he revealed. "They looked more motivated and, in particular, Christian Vieri seemed to be a new man."

Shevchenko, though, was above all pleased with his own team's performance. "It's an important win for our morale," he claimed. "We'd lost our last two matches, but in these games we ran a lot and started to show our true colours."

Despite Shevchenko's claims, Inter coach Hector Cuper is convinced that Juventus will be a force in the coming season. "They are undoubtedly one of the favourites to win the Scudetto," claimed the former Valencia boss.

"I thought [Alessandro] Del Piero was terrific and is now playing in his correct position, while Thuram did not put a foot wrong."

Cuper is delighted with the progress his team have made since he arrived in the summer, despite drawing both games in Trieste 0-0. "They have worked hard in training and it is starting to pay off. They stick together out on pitch," he explained.

"If you work hard in training, you don't have to work so hard during the match because it is so much easier. They have started playing a quicker passing game and I thought we made life difficult for our opponents."

onefootball.com

Milan and Tenerife want Baljic
10.8 || webmaster

Milan and Tenerife are interested in Real's Elvir Baljic, with the Spanish club asking for him on loan and the Milan club trying to swap up the player for a fee of $10 million.

Although Elvir Baljic is discarded by Vicente Del Bosque to be in the first squad of Real Madrid this year, the "white" club doubts about the possibility of finally selling a player that arrived to the Santiago Bernabéus with an star aura. Baljic's desire, according to his agent, is being trasfered.

For this, with the offer of Milan, who is ready to pay $10 million for the player, it's estimated the one of Tenerife too, who wants him on loan to reinforce the squad of Pepe Mel in the season of the return of the "chicharreros" in Primera. Also, the milanist offer need the team of Silvio Berlusconi to sell before any of their forwards.

The will of Tenerife of getting Baljic crashes with the high wage the bosnian player gets, an amout close to the anual $1,5 million. This amount is very far of the capabilities of Tenerife. The possibility of him to end in the Heliodoro Rodríguez López need, then, Madrid to decide not to sell him and accept a reduce of his earnings.

http://www.calciostar.com

New offside rules announced
10.8 || webmaster

From this season the offside rule will take a radical new twist, announced the AIA Referees Association today. If a player is in an offside position but does not receive the ball, play can continue and he can come into contact with the sphere later on in the move. This puts an end to the often unclear interpretation on whether a player is interfering with play or not.

"The offside rule is as old as the sport of football itself," commented head of the AIA Bergamo, "but it's clear that in recent years the game has changed a great deal. It's much faster and there are new tactics for the defence. There have been mutations in the way offside is interpreted and we have taken this into account."

The new rules put an extra edge on to those teams who play the offside trap as it could become a dangerous game. Referees and for the first time linesmen spent a week training and studying how to apply the latest changes. "This way," explained linesmen President Gennaro Mazzei, "the collaboration between referees and linesmen will grow even stronger."

There are other changes to the rules effective from this season. Excessively tough tackling will be punished with greater severity, "to defend the footballers and the principle of this sport."

Referees will also be encouraged to explain their decisions on television where the "moviola" action replays are pored over by experts in literally dozens of programmes.


Younger and inexperienced referees will be given "easier" games to start out with, while a rotation system will rest one of the 20 men in black each week.

Football Italia

Italian players will strike this weekend
10.8 || webmaster

There will be no Serie C or Coppa Italia games this weekend after the Players’ Association (AIC) confirmed that a proposed player strike will go ahead. It was initially feared that only the Third Division would be affected but now the Italian Cup has also been included.

The strike action has been called by the AIC President Sergio Campana following the decision to allow foreign players into the lower Leagues. Players have complained that the lifting of the restrictions will see more of them lose their places to cheaper foreign imports.

An AIC statement read: "The strike is a protest against the actions of the Serie C chiefs and the stance taken by the Italian Football Association commissioner Gianni Petrucci."

Football Italia

Bright future for Milan says Galliani
10.8 || webmaster

Rossoneri vice-president Adriano Galliani is optimistic that this season will see a return to a competitive Milan. Galliani was heartened by the TIM Trophy win last night and picked out Martin Laursen, Rui Costa and Cosmin Contra for special praise.


"We played well and I liked what I saw," he said. "Milan’s performance confirmed the positive aspects that we’ve seen in recent games. Maldini has spoken very highly of Laursen and we’ve been tracking him for two years. He’s a defender of real quality. We’re convinced that we’ve made a great signing.


"I saw Rui Costa play very well and the performance of Contra was also good. I think that the criticism he’s received lately has been rather harsh. He may need to improve defensively but when he attacks he’s frightening."


The sales of season tickets have picked up following the heavy investment in players and Galliani believes that Milan will have the most season ticket holders in Italy before long. "I think this year we will be very close to having 50,000 holders," Galliani said. "We’re selling roughly 600 season tickets a day and the first home game is not until September 9th. I feel confident that we will have the highest amount of season ticket holders in Serie A this season."

soccerage.com

Betis move in for Bierhoff
10.8 || webmaster

Real Betis are in negotiations with AC Milan to sign former Germany captain Oliver Bierhoff on a year's loan. "Bierhoff would be just the man for the plans I want to put in place at the club," Betis coach Juande Ramos told onefootball.com.

Betis sports director Luis del Sol revealed on Friday that the striker's agent will jet into Spain on Saturday to thrash out a deal with the president of the Seville club Manuel Ruis de Lopera.

Ramos has already proved his desire to strengthen the team's attack by signing striker Victor Ikpeba from Borussia Dortmund and would be delighted to line up Bierhoff along side Ikpeba.

"I want a tank-like player who is physically strong," he told onefootball.

The only strikers the coach can currently play are Argentinians Gaston Casas and Gabriel Amato. Angel Manuel Cuellar has fallen out with the board for attacking a fan and below-par performances, while Jose Galvez has been sold to Burgos.

The potential stumbling block to the deal are Bierhoff's wages. The German is likely to demand a salary that would shatter the club's wage structure and put him on a better deal than Brazil star Denilson, the club's best paid player.

Andriy Shevchenko, Javi Moreno, Filippo Inzaghi and Jose Mari are all above Bierhoff in the pecking order at the San Siro – and the Milan club are happy to see the veteran go.

The 33-year-old is also desperate to leave as he fights to regain his place in Rudi Voller's national side.

"If I want to achieve my goal of playing in next year's World Cup finals, the there's no point wasting time sitting on the bench in Milan," Bierhoff said earlier this month.

onefootball.com

Milan clinch Dalla Bona deal
10.8 || webmaster

Unconfirmed reports in the Italian media today are indicating that Chelsea's Italian Under-21 international Sam Dalla Bona has joined AC Milan.
Dalla Bona has been at the centre of a battle for his services between Inter Milan and their San Siro co-tenants AC Milan for the past couple of months.

If reports are correct it now appears that AC have emerged as the club that will secure his services for a fee believed to be around $US 7.7m.

Meanwhile, The Blues are understood to be tracking Real Zaragoza's out-of-contract defender Marco Lanna.

Lanna, 33, can play as a right-back or a central defender and is believed to have set his sights on a move to the Premiership.

internetsoccer.com

Milan wins TIM Trophy. Milan 1 - 0 Juve - match report
9.8 || webmaster

Milan finished off this trophy victory with a 1-0 win over Juventus, the only one of the three games to feature a goal from open play. It was another impressive encounter as Darko Kovacevic, who has been linked with a move to Lazio, brought crucial early saves out of Abbiati. Alessandro Del Piero was playing behind the front two, a position he has admitted to disliking this week.


I Rossoneri also went close with Rui Costa, Javi Moreno and Serginho, but Filippo Inzaghi was unable to celebrate his birthday with a goal against his old teammates. In fact, Buffon cheekily out-dribbled the striker on one occasion.


The decisive moment came on the counter-attack when Javi Moreno set up Shevchenko, but the Ukrainian cut back for Kakha Kaladze to turn in from close range.

Juve fought back with Edgar Davids and a powerful Gianluca Zambrotta free kick, but Milan win this match and the trophy. For Juventus it is their second consecutive tournament without scoring a single goal.


Milan 1-0 Juventus


Scorer: Kaladze 29


MILAN: Abbiati; Helveg, Laursen, Maldini, Coco; Brocchi, Kaladze, Serginho (Aliyu 44); Rui Costa (Gattuso 42); Inzaghi (Shevchenko 23) (Donati 42), Javi Moreno


JUVENTUS: Buffon; Tudor (C.Zenoni 23), Thuram, Iuliano (Ferrara 19), Pessotto (Paramatti 33); Zambrotta, Tacchinardi (Maresca 42), Nedved (Davids 14); Del Piero (Amoruso 33); Kovacevic, Trezeguet

Football Italia

TIM Trophy: Milan - Juve - match score
9.8 || webmaster

Milan 1 - 0 Juventus.
Milan have won the tournament. The wining goal was scored by Kaladze.
More will come up shortly.

Trofeo TIM: Milan beats Inter
9.8 || webmaster

Milan have won the first derby of the season in the traditional Trofeo Tim tournament at Trieste's Nereo Rocco Stadium. The exciting and hard-fought 45-minute match ended goalless as Filippo Inzaghi, Andriy Shevchenko and Christian Vieri all came very close to scoring. Clarence Seedorf almost turned in directly from the corner flag but keeper Christian Abbiati tipped it over the bar. Grigorios Georgatos was particularly impressive for the Nerazzurri.
The tie went to a penalty shoot-out and new buy Marco Materazzi made the only mistake, firing his spot-kick over the bar. I Rossoneri earn one point from this encounter as it went to penalties.


Milan 0-0 Inter (5-3 on pens)


INTER: Toldo; Simic, Materazzi, Blanc; Guly, Seedorf, C. Zanetti, Cauet, Georgatos; Vieri, Kallon.


MILAN: Abbiati; Contra, Laursen, Maldini, Kaladze; Gattuso, Donati, Serginho; Rui Costa; Inzaghi, Shevchenko.
To follow, Inter-Juventus and the final between Milan and the Bianconeri.


The second encounter between Inter and Juventus went along similar lines. It was an aggressive match and though the defences held out well, there were some good scoring chances. Nicola Ventola found himself one-on-one with Gianluigi Buffon following Lilian Thuram's error, but the Nerazzurri striker fired straight at the keeper. Juventus went close with Alessandro Del Piero and Mark Iuliano, but Blanc was always ready to make the crucial stop.


This too went to penalties but the players were rather less successful from the spot. Emre and David Trezeguet fired onto the crossbar while Gianluca Pessotto and Vlatislav Gresko had theirs saved. Buffon punched out Stephane Dalmat's decisive penalty to set up the final between Juve and Milan.


Inter 0-0 Juventus (2-3 on pens)


INTER: Toldo; Simic, Blanc, Materazzi, Gresko; Cauet, C. Zanetti, Seedorf Dalmat 14), Guly (Emre 14); Vieri, Kallon (Ventola 14)


JUVENTUS: Buffon, Tudor, Thuram, Iuliano, Pessotto; Zenoni, Zambrotta, Tacchinardi, Nedved; Trezeguet, Del Piero

Football Italia

Bierhoff in Napoli link
9.8 || webmaster

Napoli are believed to be in talks with Milan over the possible loan signing of Oliver Bierhoff. The German striker is set to leave the San Siro this summer after the arrivals of Javi Moreno from Alaves and Juventus’ Pippo Inzaghi.

Azzurri boss Luigi De Canio has openly requested some reinforcements for the forthcoming Serie B season and Bierhoff is said to be ready to drop down a Division. However, there are a number of obstacles for the proposed move for the 33-year-old international.

The ex-Udinese striker is believed to be on £30,000-a-week with the Rossoneri, a figure that the San Paolo club can not match. Napoli are hoping that a loan deal can be completed with Milan paying part of his weekly wage.

Football Italia

Cuper prepares Inter for Trieste
9.8 || webmaster

Inter, AC Milan, and Juventus will see the start of the Treiste Cup and play eachother in friendly matches as Cuper prepares his new Inter for action.

The Cup will see both the Milan derby and the Italian derby. Juventus, who Inter have already beat 1-0 in the Moretti Trophy, seems to be Cuper's only fear as he looks to take home a victorious side once again.

Meanwhile, Inter will be without Zanetti, Vivas, and Conceiçao. He also explained his plans of experimenting with the team as he said on Inter's official website, Inter.it, "Fortunately - The Argentinian continued - the League hasn't begun. These kind of matches offer us the possibility to try different type of scheme, like three players at the defense, as Inter has done before."

http://www.calciostar.com

Inzaghi: "Juve attack weaker without me"
9.8 || webmaster

Milan striker Pippo Inzaghi has taken a swipe at Juventus by claiming that their attack is weaker than last season following his sale and that of Zinedine Zidane. The Italian international faces up to his former side in tonight’s Trofeo Tim at Trieste in a three-team tournament with city rivals Inter also involved.

"As an opponent I hope that they are weaker than they have been in the past," he said. "I do think that without Zidane and me the attack has lost something.

"However, scoring against them will be very difficult with Buffon and Thuram back there. In football a strong defence is a necessity. At the 1998 World Cup, France won it with practically no strikers."

Was the Azzurri forward surprised that the Bianconeri haven’t replaced him with a new striker at the Delle Alpi? "I think the fact that Trezeguet is there says a lot even if I have to admit I did think that they would buy someone to replace me."

The former Piacenza player also added that he isn’t specifically looking to go and prove a point to his former club in tonight’s game. "I’m not thinking too much about scoring against them. I already feel at home at Milan and Juventus are nothing but history for me now."

Football Italia

Laursen hails Maldini influence
8.8 || webmaster

Milan new-boy Martin Laursen has hailed the benefits of playing alongside Paolo Maldini after appearing for the rossoneri.
Laursen teamed up with the Italy defender in a friendly against Besiktas in Istanbul as he continues to find his feet with the San Siro club.

The Dane told the Italian press: "Maldini is a wonderful player. It will always be easier to play with him because he knows how to help out his team-mates when needed.

"Of course we still have a long way to go. We must first of all get to know each other better and then play like the coach wants us to."

Laursen is glad to get a game under his belt for Milan and is hoping he will feature regularly in the first team.

He said: "The most important thing for me was to start this new experience at AC Milan in the best way. I believe that I did so in Istanbul.

"Of course towards the end of the game we were all a bit tired, but at this point I believe that is only normal. I have been training non-stop since July 9, so I believe I am quite fit to play.

"However, we are just at the beginning and we still have a bit of time before the start of the season. By then I'm sure everything will work out fine."

Teamtalk

Bierhoff Saints talks ongoing
8.8 || webmaster

Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe has confirmed negotiations are still ongoing between the club and German international striker Oliver Bierhoff.
Reports have suggested that a move for the AC Milan forward by Southampton could be dead and buried because of the player's huge wage demands, but the English side's chairman has insisted that the transfer could still go ahead.

Despite interest from English Premiership new-boys Fulham and the likes of Real Betis and Marseille, Bierhoff has been in contact with The Saints to talk over a switch to the Premiership.

And, according to Lowe, he is still mulling over the offer despite what is reported to be a difference of £5,000-a-week in wages between the two parties.

Lowe told Southampton's official website: "We are in ongoing negotiations and we are awaiting developments."

Teamtalk

Both Serie A teams failed in Europe this night!
8.8 || webmaster

Rivaldo saved Barcelona's embarrassment on Wednesday with a hat-trick to steer the Catalan club to a 4-3 win away to Polish side Wisla Krakow.

Grzegorz Pater opened the scoring for the home side with a header from six yards after 23 minutes, but the Brazilian pulled Barca level from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark after Holland international Patrick Kluivert had been pulled down in the box.

Pater restored Krakow's advanatage just a minute later, but again Rivaldo hit back, this time beating Krakow keeper Artur Sarnata after being sent clear by Xavi.

The home side were back in front before the break when Tomasz Frankowski pounced on a rebound to score from close range only for Kluivert to draw Barca level for the third time 11 minutes after the restart.

Fittingly, however, it was Rivaldo who had the last word when he collected a pass from Kluivert and thundered a shot past Sarnat with 16 minutes remaining.

FC Copenhagen will go into the second leg of their tie with Lazio confident of progressing to the group stages after Heine Fernandez headed home the winner with five minutes remaining.

Lazio, playing in their first competitive match of the season, were clearly short of match fitness and struggled in the opening stages only to come alive shortly before the break.

Hernan Crespo and Claudio Lopez both came close in the five minutes leading up to the interval before Crespo headed home Stefano Fiore's cross 11 minutes after the start to put the 2000 scudetto winners in front.

Copenhagen hit straight back and deservedly drew level with 18 minutes to go when Jacob Laursen fired home from the penalty spot after FCK captain Christian Lonstrup had been pulled down in the area by Sinisa Mihajlovic.

The Danish champions stepped up their pressure as the Italians tired and Fernandez gave them hope with his header as the clock ticked down.

Galatasaray stretched their unbeaten home run in Europe to 15 matches with a 2-1 win over Levski Sofia, but coach Mircea Lucescu would have hoped for a greater cushion ahead of next week's second leg in Bulgaria.

Umit Karan put the 2000 Uefa Cup winners ahead after only eight minutes and with 17 minutes to go Galatasaray appeared to have the tie under control when Hasan Sas crossed for Davala to double the Turkish side's advantage.

But just four minutes later Georgi Ivanov tapped home after a fine cross-field move to leave the tie perfectly poised.

Dinamo Kyiv lived up to their pre-game promise of winning at Steaua Bucharest, as their tactics of playing three forwards paid handsome dividends in a thrilling 4-2 success at the Ghencea stadium.

Steaua got off to the worst possible start when Marius Achim Baciu brought down Valentin Belkevich in the area after nine minutes. Belkevich jumped up and coolly slotted home the penalty-kick. Dinamo doubled their lead soon after, Belkevich netting again.

The two-goal cushion did not last long, though as Eugen Trica celebrated his 25th birthday in perfect style with a thumping header that crept under the crossbar. Dinamo hit back before half-time. Martin Tudor made a miraculous stop from close range, but the loose ball fell to Lucky Idahor who gleefully struck.

Trica then reduced the deficit but Oleksandr Melaschenko scored to wrap up the win.

FC Haka have already been knocked out of the competition once and are almost certain of claiming that dubious honour for a second time in as many rounds after a crushing 5-0 defeat at home to Liverpool.

Haka were allowed to continue in the competition after it was discovered that their second-round opponents Maccabi Haifa had fielded an ineligible player and they were clearly out of their depth as Michael Own helped himself to a hat-trick.

Finland international Sami Hyypia enjoyed his return to his homeland with a goal and Emile Heskey also got on the scoresheet.

Inter Bratislava were denied victory in the final minute at home to Rosenborg when Radoslav Kunzo turned Haral Brattbakk's cross into his own goal.

Brattbakk had given the visiting side an early lead but Inter bounced back after the break and took a 3-1 lead through Alias Lembakoali, who scored twice, and Miroslav Drobnak.

Bent Skammelsrud brought Rosenborg back into the game from the spot moments later before Kunzo put past his own keeper to leave the Slovakian side pondering elimination.

Hajduk Split overcame Real Mallorca 1-0 at home. They defended forward Mate Bilic's strike on 21 minutes and were close to scoring more during a feisty opening spell.

Bilic produced a point blank save from stopper Leonardo Franco after just two minutes and then forced the Argentinian to save from a free-kick before hammering in the decisive goal from 25 yards.

Striker Ivica Mornar's first goal for Anderlecht, meanwhile, secured the Belgian side a dramatic late win against Halmstad.

The Swedes, unbeaten this season in Europe, looked set for a draw until Mornar popped up 13 minutes from time to beat the offside trap.

Red Star Belgrade coach Slavoljub Muslin remained confident that his side can still progress to the group stages despite drawing the home leg against Bayer Leverkusen 0-0.

"We could win it still," he said. "A great opponent hardly created a single chance. The result is realistic and our position is no greater and no worse now. We will be going to Germany to score."

Nikolaos Liberopoulos and Giorgios Karagounis scored Panathinaikos' goals as the Greek side secured an impressive 2-1 win over Slavia Prague in the Strahov stadium, Prague. The Athens side raced into a two-goal lead before Slavia threatened to come back into the game when Pavel Kuka halved the deficit in the 68th minute.

It was the Greeks who were left kicking themselves, however, after they missed the chance to kill the tie off in the last minute. Angelos Basinas only had stand-in goalkeeper Richard Dostalek – normally a midfielder – to beat from the penalty spot, but he fired his shot wide.

onefootball.com

Terim verifying the team physical condition
8.8 || webmaster

After yesterday’s intense training session AC Milan’s manager Fatih Terim has allowed the team a morning’s rest and during this afternoons session the trainer will verify the physical condition of his players before deciding who will take part in tomorrow evenings friendly tournament, Trofeo TIM, against Juventus and Inter.

soccerage.com

Boban looks forward to his new Celta Vigo adventure
7.8 || webmaster

Croatian creative Zvonimir Boban has called his transfer to Celta Vigo "a new adventure". After 9 years at Milan, Boban will leave for La Liga for a year on-loan after the arrival of Rui Costa eliminated any real chances of regular football.


Boban was rafting in Croatia when Celta made contact and at the time, he was considering other offers from Spurs and Marseille. He chose Celta for the challenge. "I am full of emotion since after nine years, I've left a club in which I had many of my better moments. It has not been for me easy to leave, but I am happy to be going to Vigo. I feel like a kid who begins a great adventure. If anybody doubted my motivation, they will soon change their opinion.


"I could have stayed on the sidelines at Milan without stress and taken the money without a problem. But I have a great desire to play."

soccerage.com

Amoruso picks out Roma and Inter
7.8 || webmaster

Juventus striker Nicola Amoruso has pinpointed Roma and Inter as the biggest challengers to his side in the race for the championship. The returning Bianconeri forward also believes that he will get his chance this term despite being at the bottom of the striker pecking order.

"Roma and Inter look very strong. The latter have particularly impressed me," he said. "The players look motivated and well organised on the field."

Amoruso returns to Turin after spending the previous two seasons on loan away from the Delle Alpi. An experience which he claims has served him well. "I’ve returned with the right spirit after my two seasons at Napoli and Perugia. Those experiences have made me into a better player."

Many people believed that the ex-Padova striker would never play for Juventus again after he infuriated chiefs following an outstanding performance against Juve for Perugia, that cost the Bianconeri the League title two seasons ago.

"In that particular instant I did only what was expected of me because I was a Perugia player and I gave my best," he defended. "Juventus lost that championship not just because of that defeat but because of many other aspects."

Amoruso also thinks that he will be given first team opportunities despite being the fourth choice striker behind Alex Del Piero, David Trezeguet and Darko Kovacevic. "A great side is in need of many strikers and because there are so many games I will get my chance. Lippi believes in me and all that I’m required to do is to be ready when I’m needed."

Football Italia

Daino loaned to Derby
7.8 || webmaster

AC Milan have loaned 22 year old defender Daniele Daino to Derby County.

Last year the English side took Taribo West from Milan on loan and has links with the Italian club after their purchase of European Cup-winning midfielder Stefano Eranio four years ago.

Eranio has agreed a new contract to stay on at Derby at the age of 34 and the Premiership club have also brought veteran striker Farizio Ravanelli to their club.

Daino will play at Derby for a year and there are options in his loan arrangement that could make the move permanent.

World Soccer News

Terim prepares swoop for Umit and Hasan
6.8 || webmaster

Milan boss Fatih Terim is rumoured to be preparing a bid for Galatasaray stars Hasan Sas and Umit Davala.


The final word will be from Milan's deputy chairman Adrianio Galliani but both players are ready to leave Istanbul for Italy. Former Gala boss Terim has always promised to bring his favourite players to Serie A and Gala would be willing to do business as their money-raising sale of Mario Jardel has so far failed to go to plan.

soccerage.com

Inzaghi has a few things to say
6.8 || webmaster

On Thursday evening, during the Tim Trophy against Inter and Juventus, AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi will play against his former squad Juventus for the first time.

On the day of his 28th birthday the Italian national striker declared: “The fact that I will be playing against my former side, Juventus, posses me absolutely no problems at all, on the contrary, it will be nice to see my former team mates.

The important thing for me is that I’m now an AC Milan player and I want to achieve many important results. For the moment I can say that we are all making some vitally important improvements and with a little patience we will be ready by the time the season kicks off.

When me manage to play close together with quick combinations as we did in Istanbul during the first half against Besiktas, we are a very dangerous team.

It s clear that as we improve our physical condition we will become stronger and stronger.

We will use this tournament to continue our experiments but with the obvious intention of playing well and maybe even winning it, but with the necessity to continue our growth as a team.”

soccerage.com

Bierhoff chased by 11 clubs
6.8 || webmaster

Oliver Bierhoff's agent has confirmed that there are now 11 clubs interested in the veteran striker.


Bierhoff confirmed over the weekend that Southampton and Fulham from the Premiership have officially joined the chase but Porto's interest late on Sunday could see the German international heading to Portugal instead of England as a replacement for Mario Jardel.

soccerage.com

Inter's Cuper thinks Juve are favorites
6.8 || webmaster

Inter boss Hector Cuper has played down the plaudits that his side have been receiving and warned that Juventus will be the team to beat in the new season. "They are the Italian side that has impressed me most," he admitted.

Inter have come in for a lot of recognition after their victory in the Birra Moretti tournament on Friday where they beat both prospective title challengers Lazio and Juventus.

"I’m delighted with all the praise that we received but we are only at the start of the campaign and I’m interested in other aspects of our preparation rather than the results," Cuper said.
"Therefore it is important that we don’t get taken in by the enthusiasm that surrounds us at the moment. We must only start to think about working even harder."

The ex-Valencia boss continued: "I liked what I saw on Friday. There were certain aspects that will serve us well in the future. We closed down our opponents well, certain tactics worked and we played discretely along the wings. We still have things to improve on but we are progressing."

Despite beating Juventus 1-0, thanks to a Christian Vieri strike, Cuper believes that the Bianconeri will be major players in the new campaign.

"Juventus are a side that is very impressive indeed and they are well covered in every department. If I analysed then from the defence to their attack I don’t think I can find a weakness. Their squad is so big that they can chop and change with ease. They are the Italian side that has impressed me the most."

Football Italia

BECKHAM TO MILAN ON FREE TRANSFER?
6.8 || webmaster

It's been claimed tonight that Milan have agreed a pre-contract deal with David Beckham for the 2002-03 season. The 26-year-old Manchester United midfielder's contract runs out next June, allowing him to make the move to Serie A on a free transfer.

I Rossoneri have prepared a three-year contract worth a staggering £6m per season plus the rights to his image for publicity purposes and even a clause giving wife Victoria Beckham her own television show.

Milan President (and Italian Prime Minister) Silvio Berlusconi also owns the Mediaset TV channels where the Spice Girl could extend her career.


There is no word as yet from Milan, but sources claim this time the deal is very close to completion. Beckham had already been linked with Milan last season, but Manchester United refused the move.

Football Italia

Bierhoff to replace Jardel?
5.8 || webmaster

Oliver Bierhoff's future remains in doubt but the Milan striker is certainly not short on offers. Now that Porto have given up on taking Brazilian star Mario Jardel back to the club, the giant German international has been pin-pointed as a replacement.

Bierhoff has also admitted bids for his services have come in from Premiership sides Fulham and Southampton, French club Olympique Marseille (who are now back in talks with Jardel), Galatasaray (the Brazilian's current club) and AEK Athens. It's claimed the 33-year-old has turned down Jean Tigana's side and the Greeks, leaving the door open to the other suitors.


Meanwhile, Juventus are still being linked with Galatasaray star Jardel, although the Bianconeri will decide by Wednesday whether or not to take Marcelo Salas off Lazio.

Football Italia

Terim positive despite setback at Besiktas
5.8 || webmaster

AC Milan coach Fatih Terim looked on the bright side after his side lost their pre-season friendly against Besiktas on Saturday. "It is better to lose now than during the season," said the Turk, who took off Christian Abbiati, Martin Laursen, Manuel Rui Costa and Filippo Inzaghi at half-time.

Terim appeared pleased with his team's performance and especially what they produced in the first half, when he fielded what many believe will be his first-choice team.

"I saw two different teams, Milan changed a lot during the second half," he said after the game.

"Only the first half counts and I liked the Milan I saw during those 45 minutes. We played at a good pace, we had many good chances and the team showed that they are improving.

"After the restart, I experimented and I have to act that way because I must really understand what alternatives I can count on during the season."

Terim, who was given a rapturous welcome in his homeland, saw Milan take the lead through Andriy Shevchenko's first half effort.

However, Besiktas turned the game in the second half. Zoubier Baya took advantage of a misunderstanding between Alessandro Costacurta and Sebastiano Rossi before Kahveci Nihat's won the game for the Turks in the last minute.

Javi Moreno missed Milan's best chance to get something out of the game when he hit the bar with five minutes remaining.

Rui Costa was again instrumental for the Rossoneri and the Portuguese star said after the game: "We are improving match by match. We are working hard and well and must keep our optimism."

Besiktas: Fevzi, Tayfur, Umit (Erman 46), Ahmet, Zoubaier, Nihat, Ilhan (Arild 70), Mehmet Ozdilek (Tumer 46), Bayram (Sertan 77), Ibrahim, Yasin

Milan: Abbiati (Rossi 46), Contra (Pirlo 64), Laursen (Costacurta 46), Maldini (Brocchi 63), Coco, Gattuso (Donadel 77), Donati (Kaladze 46), Serginho; Rui Costa (Helveg 46), Inzaghi (Javi Moreno 46), Shevchenko

onefootball.com

Manchester United will be number one in Europe, predicts Capello
4.8 || webmaster

Roma coach Fabio Capello has backed Manchester United to win the Champions' League in boss Sir Alex Ferguson's last season. "They have signed two of the best players in the world, Juan Veron and Ruud van Nistelrooy," he explained.

Capello spoke out a week after Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier conceded the Premiership title to the big-spending northern club.

"United will be the best team this season," said the Italian. "Veron is one of the best midfielders in the world. English football fans will soon find out how good he is.

"And Van Nistelrooy is an excellent striker, someone who had options to go to many clubs in Europe."

Capello believes the £47 million investment in former Lazio star Veron and ex-PSV forward Van Nistelrooy gives Ferguson his best chance of claiming the European Cup since their last-gasp triumph over Bayern Munich in 1999.

Meanwhile, the former AC Milan chief has splashed out £70 million in the past year as he prepares to lead Roma into the Champions' League for the first time.

His side's Uefa Cup challenge has been ended by English opposition for the last two seasons and Capello said: "I hope we can get revenge after we were knocked out of Europe by Liverpool and Leeds."

Capello is understood to be a contender to take over at Old Trafford when Ferguson moves upstairs next year.

onefootball.com

Celta urge Boban to shelve retirement plans
4.8 || webmaster

Celta Vigo president Horacio Gomez has revealed he will try to try to stop loan-signing Zvonimir Boban retiring at the end of 2001-02. "He is free from Milan when next season is over and I hope to persuade him to stay for many more years," he said.

Boban has always insisted that he will quit in May, but Gomez believes a year at the Balaidos will change the 33-year-old's mind.

"We are introducing a quality player who has come from one of the best clubs in the world," he said. "We are delighted that he has signed for us and hope we can persuade him to stay longer than one year.

"The fans are going to enjoy his technical excellence and great personality because, although we have only known each other a short time, I have discovered what a superb person he is.

"We are going to integrate him into the team, then let him get some rest."

Boban was more guarded about his plans, but admitted it was a relief to leave the San Siro after his bit-part role last season and suggestions from new coach Fatih Terim that he would not feature in 2001-02.

"I thought about leaving AC Milan a long time ago," said the Croatian midfielder. "It does not matter that Milan are one of the biggest clubs in the world. I have wanted to play football all my life and I was not doing that there.

"But I am not thinking about what to do when my contract runs out. My only desire is to integrate at Celta, begin contributing to the team and help the side achieve their goals for the season."

Boban turned down a move to Middlesbrough last season and is also understood to have rejected one-year loans to Galatasaray and Tottenham Hotspur in favour of Celta.

"Ther were three reasons for joining," he explained. "Celta's style of play, the quality of the squad and the reports my agent gave me after he had spoken several times to everyone here."

Celta have agreed to pay Milan £740,000 for Boban, who left little doubt about his intentions last spring.

"At 33 years of age, there is no sense in risking adventures," he said. "I have another year left on my contract at Milan and, when I have completed it, I will say goodbye to football."

onefootball.com

Istanbul: Besiktas 2 - 1 AC Milan - match report
4.8 || webmaster

Fatih Terim's Milan again took the lead in a prestigious friendly encounter only to lose it all in the dying minutes. I Rossoneri took on Besiktas as Istanbul celebrated the career of Mehmet "Scifo" Ozdilek with this testimonial. New buy Martin Laursen, on loan from Parma, made a very positive debut in the central defensive partnership with Paolo Maldini.

This match also registered Andriy Shevchenko's first goal of the summer, turning a delicate low drive past the keeper on Filippo Inzaghi's square pass.

Even before that Milan dominated the first half with Manuel Rui Costa and Inzaghi going close within the first minute. The former Juventus striker has several good scoring chances but found the Besiktas defence always ready to block.


After the break Terim changed the face of the squad with the usual summer friendly round of substitutions, and the team gradually lost its way.

Tunisian Zoubaier took advantage of Alessandro Costacurta's error to turn in the equaliser from close range. The same player went very close to doubling his tally ten minutes from time.


Milan had the chance to take the lead once more but Javi Moreno was unfortunate to thump the crossbar at the 85th. In the final minute, as occurred with Valencia in the Amsterdam Cup last month, I Rossoneri conceded a late winner from a set-piece. This time it was Nihat's free kick that sealed the win, Besiktas' first ever victory over Milan.


BESIKTAS 2 – 1 MILAN


Scorers: Shevchenko 17, 14 st Zoubaier, Nihat 90


BESIKTAS: Fevzi; Tayfur, Umit (Erman 46), Ahmet; Zoubaier, Nihat, Ilhan (Arild 70), Mehmet Ozdilek (Tumer 46), Bayram (Sertan 77); Ibrahim, Yasin


MILAN: Abbiati (Rossi 46); Contra (Pirlo 69), Laursen (Costacurta 46), Maldini (Brocchi 63), Coco; Gattuso (Donadel 77), Donati (Kaladze 46), Serginho; Rui Costa (Helveg 46); Inzaghi (Javi Moreno 46), Shevchenko


Ref: Ali Aydin


Attendance: 32,000

Football Italia

From England: Southampton wants Bierhoff
3.8 || webmaster

Rumours from England reveal that Southampton are interested in AC Milan's striker Oliver Bierhoff. The German veteran already met the club's directors although there is no official confirmation.

calciomercato.com

AC Milan snatch option on Ajax star
3.8 || webmaster

Milan have taken out an option on £10m-rated Ajax striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, claim Italian reports today. The Swede with Bosnian ancestry impressed the Rossoneri when the two came face to face in last month's Amsterdam Cup tournament. Ibrahimovic is a powerful striker with good technique despite the fact he stands at 1.92m. It's claimed the star will join his new teammates next season.

For one striker who arrives at Milan, another is set to leave. Oliver Bierhoff has still not found a new club despite links to several foreign sides. The German himself admitted that "I have received an interesting offer from Olympique Marseille", while Galatasaray and Premiership clubs Fulham and now Southampton are said to be interested in taking the international forward.


Rumours that Bierhoff is on the verge of signing for his new team increased after it was disclosed the striker has not travelled to Turkey for Milan's friendly tie with Besiktas, set to be played on Saturday evening.

Football Italia

Squad landed in Istanbul
3.8 || webmaster

From the 38 degrees of Milan to the 42 of Istanbul. After a 2 and a half hour flight, AC Milan arrived in Turkey. It's coach Fatih Terim's first time in Turkey as opponent. In the afternoon, the squad will carry out a training session and tomorrow evening, the friendly match.
calciomercato.com

Boban loaned to Celta, not sold
3.8 || webmaster

It's now official: AC Milan's Zvonimir Boban will play with Celta de Vigo in Spain next season, Horacio Gomez, chairman of the club announced. The 32-year old will join on loan after 9 seasons with AC Milan.

calciomercato.com

Donati: "Milan and I will improve"
2.8 || webmaster

Midfielder Massimo Donati believes that he and Milan still have improvements to make despite some good form in pre-season. The new signing from Atalanta has featured heavily in the run-up to the new campaign but knows that he still has plenty to learn.

"I can’t complain because I am being given the chance to play," he said. "Unfortunately, I haven’t been training that well. I had a cold which set me back and my fitness level has still got margins of improvement to make."

He added: "The boss is teaching us how he wants us to move on the pitch so that we can get the most from the tactics which he would like us to use. We’ll get better as the games go by. We’ve been praised for our first half performance against Ajax recently but I think we can play even better."

Donati is only expected to be a squad member once the new term kicks-off, but he’s ready to sit games out in favour of more accomplished names.

"I’ve been able to play because there are some important players like Albertini, Ambrosini and Redondo who are out with injuries. However, I’ll still work as hard as I have been doing. I know that once they return to form it will be tough for me to get a game but I’m also aware that I can learn lots of things from them."

Football Italia

Boban completes Celta Vigo move
2.8 || webmaster

Creative midfielder Zvonimir Boban has signed a 2 year deal with Celta Vigo after Milan offered to pay a chunk of his wages as thanks for his service through the years.


The 31 year-old retired Croatian international leaves Milan after 9 seasons spent supplying the attack. The capture of Rui Costa made it plain to the midfielder that there was no place for him with the rossoneri and he was allowed to leave the club as a free agent.


Boban will feature in the Galician club's UEFA Cup campaign next season.

soccerage.com

Serginho: "I like Terim's agressive mentality"
2.8 || webmaster

Brazilian defender Serginho talks about his relationship with new-arrival Rui Costa: 'I like how Terim uses us: he wants an aggressive side and wants everyone to make a sacrifice. Rui and I can play together, as I did with Boban'.

calciomercato.com

Serginho about Milan's policy regarding Brazilians
2.8 || webmaster

Serginho talks about Adriano Galliani's comments('AC Milan won't buy any more South American players'): 'It's understandable: spending a lot and then the players leave for International duties. However, the players are in a difficult position since they have to travel a lot. Best would be if FIFA decides to reduce the number of matches, otherwise others will follow AC Milan'.

calciomercato.com

Rui: "We'll show progress when fitness top level will be reached"
2.8 || webmaster

Manuel Rui Costa talks about Berlusconi's praise: 'I wish to thank him and I hope not to disappoint him. I hope to well in Milan as I did in Firenze. Physically, we are ok and we are working on that. However, we'll show progress when fitness level will be at the top'.

calciomercato.com

Terim doesn't calls up Bierhoff for Besiktas freindly
2.8 || webmaster

AC Milan coach Fatih Terim has called up the following squad for next Saturday's friendly match against Besiktas.
Goalkeepers: Abbiati, Fiori, Rossi.
Defenders: Coco, Costacurta, Helveg, Kaladze, Laursen, Maldini, Contra, Roque Junior.
Midfielders: Brocchi, Donadel, Donati, Gattuso, Pirlo, Rui Costa, Serginho.
Forwards: Javi Moreno, Inzaghi, Mohammed, Shevchenko.

calciomercato.com

I'll live up to my reputation says Rui Costa
1.8 || webmaster

Milan signing Manuel Rui Costa has revealed that his main objective is to become as important to his new club as he was at Fiorentina. "I hope to become at Milan what I was with the Viola," he said. "It’s my intention to not let anybody down, with either my feet or my head."

The Portuguese superstar, signed this summer for £27m, was personally praised by President Silvio Berlusconi yesterday for his performances with the club so far. "I’m honoured for what he has said so I hope to not let anyone down. I’m very happy to have been given so much responsibility of making the team tick."

The former Benfica starlet added: "Our side will go out with the will to win all our matches. We’ve been training well and have set ourselves some precise objectives. Everybody is working hard with the aim of being ready and in good condition for the start of the championship."

Rui Costa also commented on the new fixtures which sees Milan take on Fiorentina in Week 2 of the new season. "Personally I don’t really take that much notice of the fixtures because at the end of the day you’ve got to play all of them. I don’t even think it makes that much difference if you play a major rival at the start or at the end of the campaign."

Football Italia

Berlusconi wants Milan to entertain
1.8 || webmaster

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has told new Coach Fatih Terim that he will need to not only win but also entertain. The Italian Prime Minister met with the Coach for the first time yesterday in which he made his feelings known.

"I wanted to meet with Terim earlier but because of my schedule that proved impossible," he said. "We have asked him to try to entertain the fans first and foremost and also win something.

"In effect we are not asking for anything out of the ordinary. We would simply like something in return after a transfer campaign in which we have made great financial sacrifices. We hope the results and performances arrive."

The club have brought in £27m Manuel Rui Costa from Fiorentina, as well as £23m Juventus striker Pippo Inzaghi amongst others.

Berlusconi believes that he has already seen a great Milan in pre-season. "The Milan that I’m looking for is the one that played the first half against Ajax recently. That is my Milan. After that game I phoned Adriano Galliani and told him of my satisfaction. Previously I had only rang him to show my disappointment of how we had played.

"The mission is simple. We must play how we did against the Dutch side when Rui Costa was finding Shevchenko and Inzaghi with ease. That trio could be awesome in the new campaign."

The media giant is convinced that the Rossoneri can be one of the front runners both at home and abroad. "We’ll be very competitive, especially when our midfielders in Albertini and Redondo return. Last season our campaign was disrupted with so many injuries which hampered the Milan style that has been historically produced."

Berlusconi concluded: "The other sides have also strengthened their squads but now we must try to stay one step ahead of them. I’m certain that Terim will do well because he is a strong character who is determined and a winner."

Football Italia

Everyone's crazy for Rui
1.8 || webmaster

Manuel Rui Costa's move to AC Milan helped the midfielder to be one of the most requested players for commercial presentations. The former Fiorentina symbol - who impressed in pre-season friendlies - is in fact receiving many offers from important brands.
calciomercato.com

Zeman joins Moggi in Serie A 'fix' claim
1.8 || webmaster

Controversial former Napoli coach Zdenek Zeman has supported the view of Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi that the 2000-01 Italian championship was fixed. "Moggi is right. Serie A was manipulated last season," he said.

The Czech tactician, now in charge of second-division side Salernitana, has a reputation for shock allegations, but admitted that Roma were still worthy title-winners.

"It is difficult to understand how they did it, being so far from the team, but coaching such a strong side certainly cannot have been easy and Fabio Capello did a great job.

"Roma have succeeded by completely changing their strategy and organisation over the last two years," he added.

Zeman, once coach of both Roma and Lazio, claims nontheless that he does not miss the pressure of managing a leading Italian club.

"The game has overtaken me," he said. "There are new values in football which I will never get my head round. I am no longer coaching a great team, but I feel ill-suited to this era.

"Today, you have a squad of 50 players. And you ask the club for a new defender, so they buy a forward. I cannot work in this way.

"Our sport has no rules any more," Zeman continued. "The only powerful figures are the club owners, who make their own laws to suit themselves.

"I don't understand the transfer fees, either. They have nothing to do with the real sporting value of the players."

Juve general manager Moggi alleged last month that Roma and Lazio's recent championship triumphs were fixed. "Winning the Scudetto has been impossible because of matters that have nothing to do with football," he claimed.

Moggi added that Juve had played by the book, which had directly cost them two titles. "We wanted to win the Scudetto, but we have lost it due to external elements," he continued.

"We have never skimped in trying to build a top team. In fact, we have been performing well. We only missed out because of the external elements that everybody knows about, but nobody will talk about.

"I think that some of these problems have disappeared and more will disappear during the course of next season," he added mysteriously.

onefootball.com

Inter for Dalla Bona but he wasnts Milan
1.8 || webmaster

Chelsea are preparing to off-load their young midfielder Sam Dalla Bona to Milan, but whether he joins Inter or AC has yet to be decided. Blues managing director Colin Hutchinson has almost agreed a deal with Inter, believed to be around £6million, but has yet to have any firm assurances from AC, although the Chelsea supremo believes the 20-year-old is more keen on moving to the latter.

Hutchinson said: “I have met representatives of Inter Milan and they are keen on the boy. I am hopeful that we may be able to conclude a deal with them. I have also met AC Milan but have been unable to agree a deal with them at this moment. The ball is now in their court. While Sam seems to have his heart set on going to AC Milan, it would be interesting to see whether he would like to join a club of the magnitude of Inter Milan.”

soccerage.com





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