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The Archive

September 2001

Berlusconi waits for Terim's gift
30.9 || webmaster

Milan President Silvio Berlusconi celebrated his birthday yesterday leading to Coach Fatih Terim claiming that he wants to give him the Scudetto as a gift. "I would love to go into our last game of the season at the San Siro and claim the title in front of him," he said.

The Rossoneri, joint-top of Serie A, have the opportunity to remain there as they take on Perugia this afternoon. Yet Terim knows that the task ahead will not be an easy one.

"I think that we’ve been improving in every game and I hope that continues against Perugia at the Renato Curi," said the Turk. "Cosmi’s side are a strong one and have the ability to cause us problems. Even in the games that they’ve lost this season they have played very well."

The former Galatasaray boss hinted that he would continue with his selection of playing Paolo Maldini and Martin Laursen in the centre of defence, with Kakha Kaladaze being fielded as left back – leaving veteran Alessandro Costacurta out in the cold.

Terim defended: "Costacurta shouldn’t be worried. I believe in the rotation system and he’s a player that I believe in. My opinion won’t change and he will be given opportunities to show for us in other games."

Perugia boss Cosmi has a 100 per cent record against Milan. He’s played two and won two.

Perugia 3 - 1 Milan - match report
30.9 || webmaster

Scorers: Bazzani 57, Kaladze 67, Tedesco 76, Vryzas 79

Serse Cosmi's side beat Milan home and away last season, but Perugia have been struggling and are without a win so far in this campaign. Former Venezia striker Fabio Bazzani made his debut for the Grifoni and opened the scoring with a fine header on Ze Maria's precise cross. The 25-year-old was requested by Cosmi as they shot to fame together at Serie C1 side Arezzo.

The Rossoneri nearly broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark but Andriy Shevchenko's header was cleared off the line by Davide Baiocco. Milan also had a goal ruled out for Kakha Kaladze's push on his marker, but the home side went close with new arrival Bazzani sliding inches away from Giovanni Tedesco's cross. Bazzani's header broke the deadlock but Kakha Kaladze nodded in a corner kick soon after to restore equality between the teams.

Ze Mari had another hand in Perugia's second goal as his cross was turned on by Zisis Vryzas and eventually turned into an empty net by Tedesco's diving header. The Greek international turned in a low cross to make their first victory of the season safe and knock Milan off the top spot.

Perugia: Mazzantini; Sogliano, Dellas, Di Loreto; Zè Maria (Paris 90), Tedesco, Gatti (Cordova 70), Baiocco, Milanese; Vryzas, Bazzani (Blasi 68)

Milan: Abbiati; Contra (Helveg 87), Laursen, Maldini, Kaladze (Roque Junior 82); Gattuso (Javi Moreno 82), Albertini, Serginho; Rui Costa; Inzaghi, Shevchenko

Ref: Borriello

Sheva hopes for a influenced Perugia
30.9 || webmaster

Andriy Shevchenko spoke about tomorrow match: "Perugia are a good team even if this week lost Liverani who joined Lazio. I hope they will be influenced by this transfer. I've always scored on that field, I hope to do the same this time too".

Simone snubbed Juve and Parma for Milan
29.9 || webmaster

Marco Simone has revealed that he rejected bids from Parma and Juventus before returning to AC Milan. "I knew if I was going to come back to Italy, it was going to be with Milan," said the former Monaco forward. "Now I just want to give my utmost for the team."

Simone spent four years in France – with Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco – before returning to the San Siro.

"Milan and I knew that we were meant to come together again," he said. "The negotiations took some time because Monaco were trying to keep me. Juventus and Parma had also been in touch.

"But I come to Milan without specific plans. I'm not thinking about my place in the team, or about how much I want to play. I'm sure I will have the same mental attitude I had before I left."

Milan look serious challengers for the Scudetto again this season after winning three of their first four games – and Simone acknowledged that he is joining the club at an opportune time.

"I'm going there when they're already a winning team, capable of exciting the crowd, playing brilliant football and unbeaten this season," he said.

"I'm glad to find team-mates I've already enjoyed great years with still at the club. I'm still friends with a lot of them.

"That will be a great advantage to work well together again. And coach Fatih Terim will welcome me, although it will take time for us to get to know each other."

The former Italy forward maintained the winning habit he developed in his first spell at Milan by taking the Championnat with Monaco in 2000. "But the experiences of PSG and Monaco have changed me a lot," he said.

"I was the first Italian player to play in the Championnat and coming from Milan there was a lot of pressure.

"Their football is completely different from ours, more physical and technical, but less tactical. The stress, though, is very similar and I've grown up as a professional."

Milan chasing Chinese defender Sun Jihai
29.9 || webmaster

Chinese team Dalian Shide Vice President Lin Lefeng said that AC Milan and Torino should be chasing the Chinese International defender Sun Jihai, 24 years old: "Both AC Milan and Torino want Sun Jihai and we already talked about the transfer. Anyway we are still negotiating and we won't finalize till the end of World Cup Qualifers in Asia". The defender already played in Europe with Crystal Palace.

Terim: "My Milan is great!"
29.9 || webmaster

(Terim) 'We want to win the championship and UEFA Cup with an offensive game. Juventus? It's too early to judge. My AC Milan is great though. We not only play, but we also have fun out there'. 'It's nice to see Sheva and Inzaghi scoring. Juventus-AS Roma? Every match is a championship-match: you always have to win the three points, no matter against who'.

Players for the match vs. Perugia
29.9 || webmaster

Wet training session for AC Milan. Coach Terim called the following players for the away match against Perugia:

GOALKEEPERS: Abbiati, Fiori, Rossi
DEFENDERS: Contra, Helveg, Kaladze, Laursen, Maldini, Roque Junior
MIDFIELDERS: Albertini, Brocchi, Donati, Gattuso, Pirlo, Rui Costa, Serginho
STRIKERS: Inzaghi, Javi Moreno, Shevchenko

The squad will return in Milan after the match and coach Terim will take advantage of the break to give his players three days off.

RAUL WANTS SHEVCHENKO LINK-UP
28.9 || Kenneth

RAUL'S answer to being asked who he would most like to play alongside has had the Spanish media buzzing in anticipation, with Andrei Shevchenko the chosen one.

When asked the same question last year, Raul said Zinedine Zidane, who is now at Santiago Bernabeu and the prophetic nature of Spain's golden boy has set the rumour mill in the country alight.

Some sections of the press have stated that this is because Raul is not satisfied with Zidane and Luis Figo, however, with his strike partner Fernando Morientes oft injured, it is not often that Real get to play with two forwards.

Having spent almost £90 million on Figo and Zidane, it would take another fee in the range of what Real paid for them individually to land Shevchenko, Milan's star Ukrainian striker.

Speaking about Real's Centenary season, Raul added: "The best thing to celebrate this season would be to win La Liga, La Copa, and the Champions League.

"The rivals are the same as always. In Spain, Barcelona, Valencia, Deportivo, etc. In Europe it is more difficult but I think that the best teams are Bayern and Manchester United."

Milan unveil new strikers
28.9 || Kenneth

Milan have presented their latest new boys in Marco Simone and Vitali Kutuzov. The two strikers have been signed in the past week to bolster a strike force that already consists of Andriy Shevchenko, Pippo Inzaghi and Javi Moreno.

"Milan know me well and vice-versa," said returning star Simone. "I made the decision to come back here in an instant. I’m extremely happy to once more be working for Milan and I hope to give my very best for the cause."

Simone, who was signed from Monaco, added: "I started giving my all for this club many years ago and I hope to have returned with the same stimulus that I had before and am looking to gel with the rest of the squad."

When asked about his first team chances with Shevchenko and Inzaghi in fine form he concluded: "At the moment I’m not thinking about what role I will play or in which games I could be given my chance. I just want the team to do well."

As for unknown youngster Kutuzov, he was understandably overjoyed.

"When I was in Belarus I always followed Milan games on the TV," he commented. "I really liked how they played and I soon became a fan. It’s a great feeling to have arrived at such a great club. From today a new chapter in my life has begun."

RTN Preview: AC Milan Look To Finish Magic September In Style
28.9 || Phuong

After joining Juventus and Inter on top of the Serie A table last Sunday, AC Milan hope to cap off their brilliant month of September on Sunday afternoon with a win at Perugia. The Rossoneri coached by Fatih Terim have won their last five matches, scoring a total of fifteen goals and suffering only three, a statistic that proves the Serie A giant’s impresive moment of form. Furthermore, with the return of Manuel Rui Costa within the starting eleven last week, AC Milan added that touch of creativity to their game that puts them in line to be one of the top Scudetto contenders.

On their part Serse Cosmi’s Perugia have been struggling to produce the performances that made them last year’s Serie A revelation team. The departure of defensive pillar Materazzi to Inter over the summer greatly decreased the strength of the backfield that has already taken in seven goals after only four matches, and things are looking even worse for the Grifoni now as on Thursday they sold playmaker Fabio Liverani to Lazio, a departure that is destined to weaken the Umbrians offensive power. Given the current conditions, a point from this encounter would be a great result for the home side.

LATEST TEAM NEWS AND FORM GUIDE

PERUGIA

Last 5 Matches: LDDDL

Perugia have yet to win a match this season, but it looks difficult they will be able to do so on Sunday as they will have to without Lazio-bound Liverani, who will be replaced by young prospect Gatti. Cosmi is expected to field Ahn next to Greek hitman Vryzas, but the Perugia coach could play Iranian forward Samereh, who scored six goals in a friendly match on Thursday, instead of the South Korean sensation.

Probable Lineup-(3-5-2)-Mazzantini, Sogliano, Dellas, Di Loreto, Ze Maria, Tedesco, Gatti, Baiocco, Milanese, Ahn (Samereh), Vryzas.

AC MILAN

Last 6 Matches: DWWWWW

Following Thursday’s BATE Borisov match in which Terim fielded many second string players thereby allowing Maldini, Shevchenko, Albertini, and Serginho to rest, the Turkish coach is expected to start the same eleven men that defeated Lazio 2-0 last Sunday.

Probable Lineup-(4-3-1-2)-Abbiati, Contra, Laursen, Maldini, Kaladze, Gattuso, Albertini, Serginho, Rui Costa, Shevchenko, Inzaghi.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

Gatti (Perugia)-The nineteen year-old midfielder has a huge responsibility on his shoulders now that Liverani has left to join the blue and white side of the Tiber. However when Liverani was suspended for the first two Serie A matches of this season, Gatti proved that despite his young age, he was capable of setting the Grifoni’s pace. Tomorrow he will need to the same, against one of the most athletic midfields of the Serie A.

Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan)- The on-form Ukraine international was rested by his coach on Thursday in order for him to be in the best shape possible for Sunday’s match. Of late everything Shevchenko has touched has turned into gold, and if it the same happens in Perugia, Milan will bring home the three points.

SOCCERAGE PREDICTION

Milan couldn’t be facing a better away match than the one they are set to play on Sunday against the Liverani-less Grifoni.

Perugia 1 Milan 3

Tough tie for Milan
28.9 || Kenneth

The draw for the second round of the UEFA Cup has been made with Fiorentina and Milan given the biggest tests.

The Viola will take on Tirol Innsbruck of Austria who eliminated them from the competition a year ago.

Milan are to face Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia, city rivals Inter have been handed a tie against Polish side Wisla Cracovia while Parma wlll play Utrecht.

Games will be played on October 18 and November 1.

Sarr: "It is exciting to play along people I was used to watch on Tv until two years ago"
28.9 || Kenneth

Young defender Sarr is really happy after today's goal: "I want to dedicate it to my mum. It is exciting to play along people I was used to watch on Tv until two years ago. My team mates always give me tips and I am always set to listen to them. Coach Terim trusts me and I wish to pay him back keeping on performing well," he explained.

F.Inzaghi: "I am glad I have scored 30 goals in the European competitions"
27.9 || Kenneth

Following AC Milan-Bate Borisov, Italian forward Filippo Inzaghi has declared: "The board built up a great team in order to perform well. I am glad I have scored 30 goals in the European competitions."

AC Milan 4 BATE Borisov 0
27.9 || Kenneth

Filippo Inzaghi scored his 30th goal in Europe on Thursday as AC Milan breezed past BATE Borisov of Belarus to reach the second round of the Uefa Cup.

The game on Thursday was a formality after Milan's 2-0 win in Belarus. Milan coach Fatih Terim gave several of his first team players a rest – but still ran out 4-0 winners.

Manuel Rui Costa, back from injury, was the protagonist as Milan took their opponents apart. The Portuguese livewire opened the scoring on 21 minutes with a stunning strike following a build-up involving Andrea Pirlo and Javi Moreno.

It was Rui Costa's first, but surely not his last, goal in the red and black shirt.

BATE never threatened to score and Milan doubled their lead after 45 minutes when Moreno's deflected free-kick found the back of the net.

Milan were three up on 55 minutes as 19-year-old Senegalese defender Mohammed Sarr scored with a header following a corner.

Former Juventus striker Inzaghi then finished the rout with his 30th goal in Europe with a penalty.

AC Milan: Rossi; Sarr, Roque Junior, Costacurta, Kaladze (Donadel 75), Helveg, Donati, Pirlo, Brocchi (Aubameyang 81), Rui Costa (Inzaghi 60), Javi Moreno

BATE Barisov: Fedarovich; Molash (Biahanski 47), Mardas, Panasiuk, Baha, Hancharenka (Tsiarentsyev 77); Aliashkevich, Kantsavy (Hancharyk 43), Kboets, Mironhyk; Lashankov. Manager: Puntus.

Referee: Wack (Germany)

Terim relishing Milan test
27.9 || Kenneth

Fatih Terim has been a football deity in his native Turkey for as long as he can remember. Now he is warming eagerly to his latest challenge – bringing the glory days back to Milan AC.

Glittering career
The 48-year-old coach took charge of the northern Italian giants this summer, the latest port of call in a splendid career on and off the field. An admirable central defender and sweeper over 18 years with Adanademirspor and Galatasaray SK, he played 473 matches in the Turkish first division. Terim was a stalwart for the Turkish national team as well, winning 71 international caps and wearing the captain’s armband 35 times.

Respected status
After finally calling time on his days as a player, Terim coached MKE Ankaragücü (1988/89) and Göztepe (1989/90), before taking over the Turkish Under-21 side in 1990. He became assistant to then-national coach Sepp Piontek, before assuming the helm of the Turkish national team in 1993. “It was a great honour to coach my country,” says Terim, whose respected status is such that he was a guest of UEFA at the recent Elite Coaches Forum in Geneva.

Place in Turkish football history
He assured himself of a place in Turkish football history, as well as the eternal gratitude of Turkey’s devoted and demanding football public, by leading the side to a longed-for major tournament final round – EURO 96™ in England. Although the three games brought no goals and no points, Terim looks back without regrets. “It’s certainly one of my most memorable experiences as a coach, and it came during a period when football in Turkey was on a continual rise,” he says.

Marvellous Galatasaray journey
Terim then returned to club football with Galatasaray SK. Over the next four years, he took the Istanbul club and its enthusiastic followers on a marvellous journey. Four Turkish championships, two domestic cups – and the crowning glory on an exciting night in Copenhagen in May 2000, when Galatasaray clinched Turkey’s first-ever European trophy, the UEFA Cup, in a nail-biting shoot-out victory against Arsenal FC. “An extremely exciting time for me and for Turkish football,” he remembers. “Nobody ever thought for years that we might get so far.”

Move to Serie A
Terim’s triumphs earned him the opportunity to move into Serie A in Italy. After a brief spell with Fiorentina AC, he has been given the daunting, yet doubtless stimulating mission of leading Milan into what the rossoneri and their supporters hope will be a new and exciting era.

Coaching young
Terim, who was born in Adana on 14 September 1953, began his coaching career in his mid-thirties, which has advantages and disadvantages. “When I stopped playing, I wanted to rest a little while, but a lot of important football people in Turkey said that I should go into coaching.”

Focus maintained
“If you start coaching soon after playing, it’s actually a big advantage, because you don’t lose your focus and concentration as far as the game is concerned,” Terim adds. “And when you are young, if you want to do something, you go ahead and do it. In many ways it’s not easy to coach players when you’re younger – one day you’re a player, and suddenly, you’re a coach. But, in general, I’m a leader, so I was able to adapt.”

Club and country
What does Terim feel is the main difference between coaching a club and looking after a national team? “A national team does not play every week, it only plays every one or two months, whereas a club team might play every three days – and that’s a very big difference for a coach,” he says. “A club coach might have a maximum of 30 players – I have 26 at Milan at the moment – while, as a national-team coach, you can take as many players as you want, when you want.”

Talking face-to-face
The vastly experienced Terim also says that good coaches can always adapt to every situation. “It’s also important to talk face-to-face to people,” he says. His obvious goal this season is to restore Milan’s status to the level of the most recent golden era just over a decade ago. “I think we will be successful at Milan this year, and everyone at this great club wants success,” he says. “As for myself, I remain ambitious, because it’s important for everyone to continue to have ambitions. Then, one day, I will perhaps go back to Turkey and play a role in further developing the country’s football.”

AC Milan-Mantorras: Barcelona still have an option for the player
27.9 || Kenneth

In the contract of the transfer of Simao Sabrosa from Barcelona to Benfica, the two clubs also agreed about an option for Pedro Mantorras. This means that AC Milan have to hope that Barcelona cancel the option, before signing the player.

Against Bate Borisov, Di Gennaro to replace Terim
27.9 || Kenneth

Fatih Terim will follow the match against Bate Borisov from the V.I.P. area because of an old ban with Fiorentina. His vice, Antonio Di Gennaro, will replace him.

AC Milan on Perugia's Baiocco
26.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan and Lazio would be linking with a move Perugia midfielder Davide Baiocco. Last summer the player was on the verge to a move to Juventus but negotiations suddenly collapsed. Perugia request about $ 8/9m for the player.

AC Milan vs. BATE Borisov - match preview
26.9 || webmaster

AC Milan are likely to rest Paolo Maldini, Demetrio Albertini, Andriy Shevchenko and Serginho for the second leg of their Uefa Cup tie against BATE Borisov on Thursday.

A 2-0 win in the first leg in Belarus sees Milan confident of progress, although coach Fatih Terim is taking nothing for granted. "I would never allow my team to relax," he insisted. "The Uefa Cup is a very important competition for us.

"It's the one international competition we have the chance to play in and we want to show Europe that this is a good Milan side. In a match like this, I hope to have good performances from the players who haven't played a lot up until now.

"We have improved match by match. The wins help the players to be more self-confident, but we have to learn from the worst results, too.

"I think that my players remember very well the draw with Brescia in our first league match and will keep their focus to avoid similar mistakes."

Milan will play with Javi Moreno dropping off Pippo Inzaghi and the Spaniard is keen to make an impression after scoring the second goal in Minsk.

"It was important to me after I missed several chances during the match," he said. "Now I feel happier and my first official match with Milan gave me back a lot of confidence."

BATE coach Yuri Puntus, meanwhile, admits that the game at the San Siro is little more than an opportunity for his players to gain experience.

AC Milan (probable): Abbiati, Helveg, Roque Junior, Costacurta, Kaladze, Gattuso, Donati, Brocchi, Pirlo, Moreno, Inzaghi

Homesick Dida Set To Join Corinthians
26.9 || Kenneth

Rumors from Brazil indicate that AC Milan third string keeper Dida is about to move to Corinthians. The sale should be finalized after Brazil’s World Cup Qualifier tie at Chile on October 7th. Timao coach Wanderley Luxemburgo confirmed the Sao Paulo team’s interest in the player through a statement he made yesterday, “The talks with Milan are going well, and I believe there are good chances Dida will join us very soon,” said the former Brazil boss.

Homesick Dida Set To Join Corinthians
26.9 || Kenneth

Rumors from Brazil indicate that AC Milan third string keeper Dida is about to move to Corinthians. The sale should be finalized after Brazil’s World Cup Qualifier tie at Chile on October 7th. Timao coach Wanderley Luxemburgo confirmed the Sao Paulo team’s interest in the player through a statement he made yesterday, “The talks with Milan are going well, and I believe there are good chances Dida will join us very soon,” said the former Brazil boss.

Milan Buy Rui Costa's Image
26.9 || Kenneth

Taking a leaf out of the book of mighty merchandisers Real Madrid, Milan have secured all rights to Rui Costa's image until 2005. The Portuguese wizard has already impressed his new club and fans and looks set to be this season's most influential Serie A star.

Revived Abbiati Thanks His Faithful Emperor
26.9 || Kenneth

After going through the worst season of his career in which he lost his starting role in favor of Sebastiano Rossi, AC Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati is once again feeling important for his team after that he saved the result in Milan’s last two games.

“ Both Terim and the things I went through in the past season have allowed me to return to my prior levels of form. The ugly moments have helped me grow and become more mature. This is a great moment for both myself and the team,” said Abbiati.

Abbiati had been highly criticized by the Italian media in the past season for a series of under-par performances, and the situation reached a climax when Abbiati was benched to make way to the veteran Rossi.

However Terim made it clear in his first pre-season as AC Milan coach that Abbiati was his starting keeper, and despite a decisive error that allowed Bresica’s Tare to score his second goal on the opening Serie A matchday when Milan shared the spoils with Mazzone’s Rondinelle, the Emperor kept his word, and is now being rewarded for his stance.

Official: Simone returns to Milan
26.9 || Kenneth

Milan have confirmed that they have re-signed Marco Simone. The 32-year-old striker has arrived on loan until the end of the season when the San Siro side will have the option to buy the striker outright.

Simone returns to Italy after being frozen out by Didier Deschamps at Monaco. The forward left the San Siro in 1998 to join Paris St Germain, before moving to the Principality two years later.

The ex-Como player’s previous stay with the Rossoneri lasted eight seasons where he scored 74 goals. His exit from France comes just days after Christian Panucci left Monaco for Roma after a falling out with former French captain Deschamps.

The arrival of Simone could see Javi Moreno, a £6m summer signing from Alaves, return to Spain. The deal will also see Cyril Domoraud, currently on loan to Monaco from Milan, remain with the French side.

Simone edges closer to San Siro return
26.9 || Kenneth

Monaco have finally agreed terms for the release of 32-year-old striker Marco Simone to AC Milan, according to reports in Italy on Wednesday.

The striker left Milan four years ago to join Paris Saint-Germain, and has set his sights on a return after his relationship with new Monaco coach Didier Deschamps turned sour.

Milan are expected to pay the striker's salary to the end of the season, and the Italian club will then decide whether to buy Simone outright or send him back to Monaco, where he will then have another three years left of his contract.

Simone made up his mind to join Milan several weeks ago but the clubs were unable to agree terms.

Simone said: "I will be the happiest player in the world if I can go back to Milan, where I won so many things. Milan are a winning club and, finally, a winning team again."

The former Italy international is expected to be behind Andriy Shevchenko, Filippo Inzaghi and Javi Moreno in the pecking order but Milan are expected to loan out or sell the recently acquired Vitaly Kutuzov.

Earlier this month, Simone was urged by Deschamps to make a decision on his future at the Prinicipality club. Simone was upset after the signing of Oliver Bierhoff, who also replaced the former Italy international as captain.

He said: "We've arrived at a point of no return. I don't think that in difficult times, a captain should be put in a position of doubt. On the contrary, he should be respected even more. I'm not the one who chose this situation."

In seven years at Milan from 1990 to 1997, Simone was part of the side that scooped four league championships, two European Cups and two European Super Cups.

He moved to PSG where he finished top scorer in both seasons in the capital. At the end of his first campaign in Paris, he won the French Cup and the French League Cup.

Monaco was the next stop, where his 17 goals and 12 assists helped the club win the French league title in 1999-2000.

The following season, after the club sold Fabien Barthez, David Trezeguet, Sabri Lamouchi and Willy Sagnol, an early European exit and disappointing domestic form had Simone eyeing an exit.

IT'S OFFICIAL: Marco Simone back to AC Milan
25.9 || Kenneth

Marco Simone is officially an AC Milan player. The Italian team reached few minutes ago an agreemetn with Monaco President, Jean Louis Campora, to have the player on loan untill the end of the season. Marco Simone should be in Milan already tomorrow.

Milan's Ambrosini Doesn't Need More Surgery
25.9 || Kenneth

Rossoneri midfielder Massimo Ambrosini has been told that he won't need a second knee operation. Out of action since February, Ambrosini has been complaining of pain and travelled to Belgium recently for more tests on an inflamed tendon but the verdict was that he was healing.

Laursen relishes dream start at Milan
25.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan defender Martin Laursen is still pinching himself after scoring twice in his first three matches for his new club. The Dane started the season on the bench but has now firmly worked his way into coach Fatih Terim's plans.

Laursen signed for Milan for £5 million in July from Verona but looked destined for a supporting role at the San Siro when Terim opted for the experienced Jose Antonio Chamot in I Rossoneri's season opener away to Brescia.

The Argentine, however, suffered a disastrous opening half as Igli Tare struck twice to give Brescia a 2-0 lead and Terim has gone with Laursen in the centre of defence ever since. A decision that has paid off as a run of three straight league victories has propelled Milan to the top of Serie A.

Laursen scored on his debut in Milan's 5-2 thrashing of Fiorentina, was kept in the side for the 2-1 win away to Udinese and was back on the scoresheet as Lazio fell 2-0 at the San Siro on Sunday.

"It's incredible," the 24 year old enthused. "Both goals were scored in the San Siro and it was a marvellous feeling in front of so many people."

"I am living a dream after scoring my first goal against Fiorentina. I didn't expect to score against Lazio either, but I did. It was also an important goal because it was the one that ensured us of victory."

Powerful, quick and strong in the air, Laursen's first stop in Italy was Verona who bought him from Silkeborg for £950,000 as an investment in the hope of developing him into the finished article and then selling him on at a profit.

That came to fruition in July 2000 when Parma, amid competition from Milan and Roma, bought a 50 per cent share in the player.

Laursen, however, remained at Verona on loan and failed to make an appearance for Parma before being shipped off to Milan for £5 million in the summer.

The move has so far has proved the right one for the young defender but Laursen, while delighted with his headline-making start at the San Siro, is not resting on his laurels

"I am happy, it's true, but it's always better to concentrate on the future," he said. "In the first match at Brescia, I was among the substitutes but I did not worry about it. I knew that I was playing in a team with a lot of champions and that I could only to learn from them."

Laursen's attitude mirrors that of a successful Milan squad which emphatically announced its title credentials with the impressive victory over Lazio.

With Pippo Inzaghi and Andrei Schevchenko clicking up front and Rui Costa having already won his way into the hearts of the tifosi, Terim's chances of wrestling the scudetto from Roma appear good.

What chances then of a fairytale ending to match the dream start the Dane has enjoyed so far?

"We are a marvellous group and the mood and determination is right for us in the struggle to win something important," Laursen said. "This was obvious this week and has been the case during training. We work hard but we also smile and so everything is easier for me and for AC Milan."

Abbiati: "We are currently playing the best football"
25.9 || Kenneth

Ac Milan goalie Abbiati has declared to his team's official web site: "We are currently playing the best football. The others teams may improve but I am sure about this team's qualities. I am ready to bet about it."

Milan Say No To Market Flotation
25.9 || Kenneth

Milan have revealed that they have no plans to float on the Italian Borsa just yet. Chief executive Adriano Galliani confirmed that the rossoneri won't be following Juventus, Lazio and Roma. "Milan to the stock market? At the moment no," Galliani told Italian TV.


The club would need the full approval of owners Fininvest to push the sale through but have rejected the idea twice already. Five years ago they researched the potential and then 3 years later when Lazio made the move, the possibility was raised.


Juventus were set to float in November, but it may be postponed as the current economic climate is volatile at best.

Ambrosini escapes second op
25.9 || Kenneth

Massimo Ambrosini has been told that he will not need a second operation on his knee. The Milan midfielder, who has been out of action since February after Milan’s game against Reggina, was thought to need more surgery after still complaining of pain.

Amrosini flew to Belgium for more tests but has been reassured that he only has an inflamed tendon which should not cause any real complications to his recovery. However, a comeback date has yet to be set.

Simone back with AC Milan today
25.9 || Kenneth

Marco Simone is back with AC Milan. Directors of the two parties will meet today to reach an agreement. AC Milan will offer the registration of Domoraud, at the moment loaned out. Parma - having failed to sign Simone - might decide to try for Muzzi.

AC Milan. Last gift to Terim: Emre
25.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan ready to accept the coach's request and sign Inter Milan's midfielder. Kutuzov signed, but Galliani still wants Simone if Hakan doesn't join. Rumours from England talk about a link with Chelsea'a Dalla Bona.

AC Milan-Kutuzov: 5-year deal, Bate Borisov receive about $2m for the transfer
24.9 || Kenneth

Forward Vitali Kutuzov is officially an AC Milan player. The Belarus striker, 21, arrived today in Milan and after the medical tests signed a 5-year deal. Bate Borisov have received about $2m for the transfer.

Rui Costa: "Yesterday's match erased any problems about my tactical cohabitation with Serginho"
24.9 || Kenneth

Manuel Rui Costa declared to Milan Channel: "To be honest I was worried, mostly hearing the doubts on my tactical cohabitation with Serginho. Yesterday's match erased any problems. We can be now sure that AC Milan are not less strong with me."

Galliani excludes the stock exchange
24.9 || webmaster

AC Milan directing manager Adriano Galiani commented on the opportunity that AC Milan will be quoted in Stock Exchange: "At the moment it's excluded, we'll carry on for a while with only one big shareholder: Fininvest".

Contra: "It is a positive moment"
24.9 || webmaster

Cosmin Contra, due to the positive moment, explains: "Three matches won continuelly show we are in a positive moment. We have not time to celebrate, because the calendar is plenty of events, and we are not allowed."

Tomorrow the resumption vs. BATE Borisov
24.9 || webmaster

After the victory over Lazio Fatih Terim give the team a free day. On Tuesday afternoon the resumption of the training sessions preparing the second leg of Uefa Cup match against Bate Borisov (Thursday, on Rete 4 at 20.45cet). On next Sunday September 30th AC Milan will play in Perugia.

San Siro pitch blamed as Lazio injury-list grows
24.9 || Kenneth

Lazio coach Alberto Zaccheroni has claimed the San Siro pitch caused the injuries which reduced his team to ten men against AC Milan.

Hernan Crespo, Alessandro Nesta, Dino Baggio and Guiseppe Favalli all limped off, and Zaccheroni said: "I don't want to blame my predecessor Dino Zoff and I don't think it's connected with training.

"I think it is down to the bad San Siro pitch and the stress the players have been under during a difficult week. Over the last few days, we have only had time for tactical sessions, anyway.

"All the injured players have muscle problems. I don't know yet if they are serious pulls or strains. We will know soon.

"I hope to have some of them available for the match in Eindhoven, but really I don't know. I have agreed with president Cragnotti to speak about reinforcements this week."

Zaccheroni received a standing ovation from the Milan crowd as he took his place on the away bench. The coach is still remembered warmly for leading Milan to their last Scudetto.

But the game ran away from his new side after Hernan Crespo missed two sitters. "I opted to play Giuseppe Favalli and Dino Baggio, because I needed defensive midfielders. When we had Favalli on the right, we controlled their attacks and had great chances to score with Crespo.

"Milan improved their pace and we had problems keeping our shape, but I thought Gaizka Mendieta played well. Sometimes he didn't have a great deal of help from the rest of the team.

"Stefano Fiore did what I asked of him. He must be our playmaker all over the pitch, without a fixed position. I played Claudio Lopez on the right because he likes to cut in and shoot with his left foot."

Fatih Terim was delighted with a victory that took Milan to the Serie A summit. "I have told you so many times and I repeat it again: day by day things get better and better," said the Turk.

"We won, but above all we played a very fine match. We were able to control the game thanks to great pressing and good possession. I'm really pleased about that."

Manuel Rui Costa was the star of the show on his return from injury and Terim acknowledged: "He helped a lot. I predicted that because I know him very well.

"We are all happy to have him with us again. It was the first time he has played alongside Demetrio (Albertini) and they spoke a lot on the pitch. It is wonderful to see players doing that."

Shevchenko: "The time will tell us where we can arrive"
23.9 || Kenneth

On AC Milan the forward Andriy Shevchenko commented: "We are going well, without doubts. I like this AC Milan so much, but it's impossible to make predictions now. The time will tell us where we can arrive".

Rui Costa: "I cared to play well, I'm happy for the supporters' applauses"
23.9 || Kenneth

Rui Costa back to AC Milan and he is already the number one, due to he received the prize as the best player on the field: "It's a very important victory against a great team. I was a bit under pression this week, but I'm happy to be back on the field. I'm satisfied". On the supporters' applauses: "I cared to play well, during the first half I was worried about my elbow, then everything went well. I'm happy to receive the supporters' applauses."

Milan 2 - 0 Lazio - match report
23.9 || webmaster

Scorers: Inzaghi '42, Laursen '50

This match was an emotional occasion for many people as new Lazio Coach Alberto Zaccheroni made his debut against the club that fired him six months ago. Manuel Rui Costa was making his first appearance at the San Siro four weeks after dislocating his elbow and fracturing his hand.
It was not the most auspicious of starts for Zac as two crucial Lazio players, Alessandro Nesta and Hernan Crespo, limped off with thigh strains that will keep them out of action for several weeks. To make matters worse, Dino Baggio's knee problem when all three substitutions (all forced through injuries) left the Romans in ten men for the final half-hour.

Milan held most of the possession, but it was the Biancocelesti who had the best chance of the first half. Kakha Kaladze's error left Hernan Crespo running on goal, but Christian Abbiati incredibly managed to deflect the ball onto the crossbar. Kaladze gave away another chance for Crespo with an appalling backpass, but the Argentine slipped at the crucial moment.

Nonetheless, the Rossoneri took the lead when Cosmin Contra's splendid run set up Filippo Inzaghi's header and at the start of the second half Rui Costa's cross was met by Martin Laursen's free header to double their lead. Peruzzi's desperate save prevented Shevchenko from grabbing a third. Even in ten men Lazio did not give in and Stefano Fiore's shot was kept out by Abbiati's feet.

Milan: Abbiati; Contra, Laursen, Maldini, Kaladze; Gattuso (Donati 91), Albertini, Serginho; Rui Costa (Pirlo 76); Shevchenko (Javi Moreno 86), Inzaghi


Lazio: Peruzzi; Colonnese, Nesta (Simeone 55), Couto; Pancaro, Mendieta, D.Baggio, Favalli (Castroman 28); Fiore; Crespo (Kovacevic 46), Lopez


Ref: Racalbuto

Milan vs. Lazio - the line-ups
23.9 || webmaster

Milan (4-4-2): Abbiati; Contra, Laursen,
Maldini, Kaladze; Brocchi, Albertini,
Gattuso, Serginho; Inzaghi, Shevchenko.
(Rossi, Costacurta, Roque Junior, Donati,
Pirlo, Rui Costa, Javi Moreno).
CT: Terim.

Lazio (3-4-3): Peruzzi; Colonnese, Nesta, Couto;
Castroman, Mendieta, Stankovic, Pancaro;
Fiore, Crespo, Lopez.
(Marchegiani, Favalli, Baggio, Simeone,
Poborsky, Inzaghi, Kovacevic).
CT: Zaccheroni.

Referee: Racalbuto.

Albertini admits: "We hope to catch Juve"
23.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan may catch leading Juventus with a win over Lazio tonight and recovered midfielder Albertini admitted: "We hope so. Yesterday's Juve's draw allows us to achieve the top but we should not think about this option and play calmly."

Ambrosini to undergo surgery, again!
22.9 || webmaster

Milan star Massimiliano Ambrosini may have to undergo surgery once again on the knee injury that saw him miss the second half of last season.

The Italian midfielder seemed to be ready to start working with the team again by the end of the month, but during his latest rehabilitation, he started to feel pain in the problematic knee again.

That is why the Rossoneri have requested a visit by Professor Marc Martens, who recently operated on Spanish forward Josè Mari and also cured Ruud Gullit of a similar problem in the past, to determine if another operation is needed.

Of course, should Ambrosini have to go under the knife again, it would mean that he could not be available at least before the start of the new year.

This would also cause a problem for Italy's coach Giovanni Trapattoni since Ambrosini used to be in the squad along with team-mate Gennaro Gattuso.

One of the points of concern for Trapattoni is the midfield and the absence of Ambrosini is a big one for him.

Not being able to count on a young dynamic midfielder like Ambrosini would surely represent a disadvantage for the Azzurri in the year that leads to the World Cup.

Terim not worried
22.9 || webmaster

AC Milan coach Fatih Terim talked on tomorrow's match against Lazio: "It will be a really difficult match because when a team change coach usually have a proud reaction. I am not worried about the tactical changes due to Rui Costa's presence but I am anxious on the right zone because Umit as Helveg and probably Contra will be not available. We will surely start with 4 defenders and Sarr may be a good alternative for the right zone, I do not think Lazio will be out of the competition if they lose."

Monaco chief keen to keep Simone
22.9 || webmaster

Monaco president Jean Louis Campora has dismissed reports that striker Marco Simone's move to AC Milan is a done deal. "They have not made an official bid for him and that must be made clear," he said.

"I'm not saying agents have not been in contact with Milan but we haven't received any offer," he explained.

The striker was reported to have been dropped from the squad after claiming he wanted to go to the San Siro but Campora claims that is not the case. "Simone has definitely not been excluded," he said.

The player, though, declared this week that his time at Monaco was over after being dropped from the team by coach Didier Deschamps and replaced as captain by Germany striker Oliver Bierhoff, who forms the first choice strike pair with Shabani Nonda.

"I am 100 per cent thinking about AC Milan," he said.

But Campora does not agree that the player has no future in the south of France.

"Didier Deschamps is managing his team, and picks players, but Marco is not out of the squad. If he trains normally and shows his full strength, there won't be any problem for anyone.

"Simone has many qualities and he's doing a wonderful job. He knows he has a contract running with us. There is always competition for places."

Simone has been left fuming at the way he has been treated by Deschamps this season."We've arrived at a point of no return," he said. "I don't think that in difficult times, a captain should be put in a position of doubt."

In seven years at Milan from 1990 to 1997, Simone was part of the side that scooped four league championships, two European Cups and two European Super Cups.

He moved to PSG where he finished top scorer in both seasons in the capital. At the end of his first campaign in Paris, he won the French Cup and the French League Cup.

Monaco was the next stop, where his 17 goals and 12 assists helped the club win the French league title in 1999-2000. The following season, after the club sold Fabien Barthez, David Trezeguet, Sabri Lamouchi and Willy Sagnol, an early European exit and disappointing domestic form had Simone eyeing an exit.

He admitted last month that he was close to leaving Monaco over the summer. "You can fall in love with more than one woman and it's the same in football, you can love several clubs," he explained. "I loved Milan, then Paris and now I love Monaco.

"We almost split up in the close season, that would really have hurt. But in the end we stayed together," he added.

REDONDO FOREGOES WAGES ON COMEBACK TRAIL
22.9 || Kenneth

ARGENTINIAN midfielder Fernando Redondo has given back around $250,000 to Milan, money he has been paid whilst being injured since August 2000.

Redondo is yet to recover and according to reports in Italy, decided to give back his wages to the club after a meeting with Adriano Galliani, Milan's vice-president.

"I felt discomfort in that situation, I wanted to be spiritually calm to be able to continue with my recovery and for that reason I made this decision," said Redondo, who has returned to Spain to work with his former side, Real Madrid's doctors.

A knee ligament injury in August has scuppered his £11 million move and wasted the first of his three year contract.

The 31-year-old has begun a special recovery program with Doctor Alfonso Del Corral in the Spanish capital, with the aim being to get Redondo back playing before the end of the year.

The last competitive game Redondo played in was the final of the Champions League on May 24 2000 for Real.

Kutuzov about AC Milan
21.9 || webmaster

Belarus Under 21 striker Vitaly Kutuzov talks about his new side, AC Milan: 'I am here in Milan to take medical. If I pass, the two clubs will negotiate my transfer. Galliani wants me here on Monday, but I think I'll follow AC Milan-Lazio on Sunday. I am very excited about this but I know I'll play real football'.

Inzaghi: "Zac's arrival will boost Lazio"
21.9 || webmaster

Pippo Inzaghi will face his brother, Simone: 'It won't be easy, because Zaccheroni's arrival will boost the squad. They are facing a negative moment, but they have a lot of champions'. On AC Milan, he added: 'We have to continue like this'.

Umit out for three weeks
21.9 || webmaster

Milan’s injury crisis continues as while Manuel Rui Costa returns against Lazio this coming Sunday, new buy Umit Davala has been ruled out for three weeks. The Turkish international picked up a right thigh strain during training and will miss the next three Serie A matches, but it will not interfere with their UEFA campaign as the former Galatasaray midfielder is cup-tied.


There are more problems for the Rossoneri on the right flank as both Thomas Helveg and Cosmin Contra are not 100% fit. The Romanian limped off with a bruised thigh during yesterday’s UEFA win at Bate Borisov.

Abbiati warns: 'Zaccheroni will come here to win'
21.9 || Kenneth

Christian Abbiati talks about Zaccheroni: 'He was patient, but now, he's back with a great squad. I owe him a lot - I won a championship thanks to him. I am sure he will come here to win'.

Who is Vitali Kutuzov
20.9 || Vito

Vitali Kutuzov from Belarus is a new Milan player. He was born in Pinske 21 years ago. He is a striker.
Last season, he made his debut in the UEFA Champions League, in which he made 4 appearances and scored 1 goal.
He was currently the top scorer in his league with 15 goals, and he is an Under 21 international with Belarus.


Milan sign Kutuzov
20.9 || Vito

After the UEFA Cup match against Bate Borisov, Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has announced that Vitali Kutuzov will join the red and black team. The striker, who played with Bate, had scored 15 goals so far in his league, and 18 last season.

Milan vs. Lazio - match preview
20.9 || webmaster

With two consecutive victories under his belt, Fatih Terim’s Milan are beginning to place themselves on a par with Juventus for the title of Scudetto favourites. The Rossoneri are just two points off the leaders and this week will see the return of their star summer signing Manuel Rui Costa. Whether the Portuguese international will be on from the start is unclear. The midfielder has recovered quicker than predicted from a dislocated right elbow and fractured hand to play behind deadly duo Andriy Shevchenko and Filippo Inzaghi.

Lazio, on the other hand, are on their last chance saloon to get back into the Scudetto chase. New Coach Alberto Zaccheroni makes his bow on the Lazio bench at the club who sacked him last season.

The Biancocelesti midfield is yet to gel properly with Stefano Fiore and, especially, Gaizka Mendieta struggling for form. However, it is the forward line where Lazio’s problems truly lie at the moment. Argentina’s international front two Claudio Lopez and Hernan Crespo are struggling badly with just one goal in three Serie A games and not a single victory.

BATE 0 - 2 AC Milan - match report
20.9 || webmaster

AC Milan struggled to break down a well-organised BATE Borisov side in their Uefa Cup first round clash in Belarus on Thursday, but eventually sealed a win thanks to second-half strikes from Andriy Shevchenko and Javi Moreno.

The home side were quicker to the ball than their Italian opponents in the opening stages, and they produced the first shot on goal on 15 minutes. Aleshkevich latched onto a Vitali Kutusov pass before forcing a sharp save from Christian Abbiati.

Milan slowly came into the game as Shevchenko started to pose some serious questions of the BATE defenders. The Ukraine star came close to breaking the deadlock in the 36th minute, but his shot was beaten out by Aleksandr Fedorovich.

The BATE goalkeeper was called into action again on the stroke of half-time as he reacted well to save Moreno's deflected shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Milan began the second half at a furious pace, and Fedorovich was soon in the thick of the action again, palming Andrea Pirlo's 27-yard free kick over the crossbar.

The visitors eventually broke through, though, when Shevchenko headed home Serginho's swerving free kick from the left flank in the 64th minute.

BATE had a chance to equalise with 14 minutes left on the clock, but Kontsevoi wastefully fired the ball high over Abbiati's crossbar when he should have done better.

Milan doubled their lead in the last minute when Moreno was on hand to prod the ball into the net from six-yards out after the home defence had failed to clear another Serginho cross.

The scoreline was hard on the home team, who were unfortunate not to pull a goal back when Aleshkevich struck the Milan crossbar in stoppage time.

BATE: Fedorovich, Rogojkin, Baga, Mardas, Mironchik (Grigorov 72), Kutuzov, Nevinsky, Loshankov, Kobets (Kotsevoi 54), Molosh, Aleshkevich

AC Milan Abbiati, Maldini, Albertini, Shevchenko, Donati (Pirlo 46), Moreno, Contra (Gattuso 27), Laursen, Junior, Serginho, Brocchi (Sarr 84)

Rui Costa To Return Against Lazio
20.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan creative Manuel Rui Costa will return to action on Sunday when the Rossoneri face Roman giants Lazio in the Stadio San Siro. The Portugal international injured his hand and elbow on August 26th at Brescia, and was expected to sit out at least 40 days. However Rui Costa took less than a month to recover, and now coach Fatih Terim will be able to field his best offense in Milan’s first serious league test of the season.

In order to prepare his comeback in the best of manners, Rui Costa has decided not leave for Minsk where Milan face UEFA Cup rivals Bate Borisov on Thursday.

Simone-Milan: Parma want him as well
20.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan want a striker as well but negotiations with Monaco are still in early stages. Parma are ready to offer players to Deschamps and Terim is more interested in Vugrinec and Niculae.

Simone focused on Milan
19.9 || webmaster

'I am 100% focused on AC Milan'. This is what Italian striker Marco Simone said to Italian paper 'Corriere della Sera'. The Monaco player, whose relationship with coach Didier Deschamps is awful, talks about his future: 'I know what I'll do for Milan. I'm not scared of the bench. For me, it's important to be back with the club. I hope the two parties reach an agreement. For sure, I won't stay in Monaco. I don't want to work with Deschamps'.

Dida back to Brazil
19.9 || webmaster

Milan goalkeeper Dida has returned to Brazil. The 28-year-old has moved back to Corinthians having flopped in Italian football.

He played just one Serie A game last season for the Rossoneri and made a dreadful blunder in the Champions’ League against Leeds United.

He was later embroiled in the passport scandal and the Rossoneri have now cut their losses with the Brazilian international. Dida hopes to stake his claim back in the Selecao side in time for the World Cup finals next summer.

Terim about tomorrow's line-up
19.9 || webmaster

Fatih Terim, before leaving for Belarus for the match against Borisov, declared: 'I'll think about Sunday's match before deciding the line-up. Javi Moreno could start as a regular, but I won't risk Rui Costa'.

Emre and Simone for Milan?
19.9 || webmaster

Hakan Sukur to join from Inter Milan as well. He would be sold to Monaco in exchange for Simone. Rui Costa to miss tomorrow's UEFA Cup match. Meanwhile, Abbiati: 'Buffon and Toldo are protected by media'.

UEFA Cup: BATE v AC Milan - preview
19.9 || Phuong

MINSK, September 19 (DSA) - Italian AC Milan arrive today in the evening in Minsk for the UEFA Cup first round match with BATE Borisov. Fatih Terim's team does not plan any training in Minsk before the match. From the airport AC Milan will go to the hotel at the first onset.
The only representative of Belarus in the UEFA Cup BATE Borisov is preparing to the forthcoming match with Italian FC Milan on the training-base in Dudinka. In the Wednesday's evening the Belarusian club will conduct a training in Minsk on Dinamo stadium.
In last round of the Belarusian championship the club from Borisov beat Lokomotiv-96 2:0 and now have the second place in the championship table. However, BATE head coach Yury Puntus was displeased with the team performance, and got satisfied only after the result. Furthermore, the main midfielder of BATE Alexander Lisovsky was seriously injured and is likely to miss the match against Milan.
The match BATE - Milan will start on Thursday at 17.30 (in Belarusian time) on Dinamo stadium in Minsk, which seats 40000 spectators.

Super save cements Abbiati's return
18.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan goalkeeper Cristian Abbiati has revealed that he feels a new man after making a crucial save in the last minute of the Rossoneri's 2-1 win over Udinese on Sunday. "That save helped me find a new determination," he explained.

Milan climbed to second in the table with the victory, but Abbiati's save from Marco Zamboni was every bit as crucial as the goals from Andriy Shevchenko and Filippoo Inzaghi.

"It's important not to exaggerate," Abbiati said. "It was only a save, but everybody saw how I jumped at the end of the game. I was really happy because we won a very difficult match.

"We already knew Internazionale and Juventus' results, and Udine has always been a difficult place for us to go. But we got three points, and that could be very important for the future.

"I don't think we will be Juventus' challengers in the lead; I think they will be our challengers."

Abbiati was widely blamed after the opening game of the season against Brescia, when Milan had to come from two down to snatch a draw.

"I am not Francesco Toldo or Gianluigi Buffon," he said. "As soon as I make a mistake I am criticised. Maybe they are more protected than me because they have played for the national team.

"But I'm not going to delight in my good saves, and I'm not going to get depressed about the bad moments. I just keep going, because at Milan there are people who want my place and I have to remain alert."

INZAGHI "EXCELLENT UNDERSTANDING WITH SHEVA"
18.9 || Kenneth

After the doubts came out in the summer, it seems the AC Milan's attack couple formed by Filippo Inzaghi and Andrei Shevchenko work very good. The Ukraine forward already netted four times, while the Italian bomber score in both last two games.

And just Inzaghi explains everything comes easier with a forward like Shevchenko near him "Me and Andrei are good friends first to be good players. This let our understanding to produce excellent results. Of course we can still improve, as soon as we co-ordinate movements we can make even better, but in the meantime I'm already satisfied"

"And if me and Sheva make good things, this is the result of the excellent play of the team, we couldn't work without a great midfield line and a strong defence"

About the season Inzaghi shows optimism "Well, I think we have everything to take great satisfactions in the next nine months. At least the perspectives are very positive, till now we didn't win anything yet. But we showed the play is already giving out some good result, now we just need continuity"

Finally the forward revealed "Our secret comes from the compactness of our group, there isn't any problem inside the dressing room and even those players who get benched has not any will to make problems. It's just them I would like to thank the most, because it's never easy to stay out" Inzaghi concluded.

Shevchenko: First Milan, Then Me
18.9 || Kenneth

Five goals in as many matches: Andryi Shevchenko is on a roll, and Milan is taking big benefit from that. Yesterday in Udine, the Ukrainian striker showed also his altruism with a perfect supply to Inzaghi, who scored Milan’s second goal, and giving the lie to all those who thouhgt that he and “Pippo” couldn’t coexist. “I always said that there was no incompatibility, and I was right" he said. "We are playing very well and improving our team-work match after match. I’m really happy that both of us scored. And I don’t really care to be the Serie A topscorer: I only want to win with Milan”

AC Milan fans likely to miss upcoming San Siro games
18.9 || Phuong

AC Milan run the risk of playing some of their next matches without their fans being present at their San Siro stadium. It may take place because of an outbreak of disorder on the part of the club's supporters during the match against Udinese.
Just before the very beginning of the game, a petard was thrown on to the field. It hit local fireman Giovanni Gerion, who at that time was on duty. The injured worker was immediately taken to the hospital Santa Maria della Misericordia where he was given the first medical aid.
This case is a very serious one because Milan's fans broke the law according to which it is banned to take such kind of objects to the stadium. At present, the police of Udine is investigating the case.

Simone's agent:"Simone and AC Milan agreed, Monaco not yet"
17.9 || Kenneth

Marco Simone's agent Oscar Damiani talked to calciomercato.com about the transfer of the Monaco forward to AC Milan: "Negotiations are not easy. The player wants to join back the Italian side and AC Milan want the player, but unfortunately Monaco do not agree yet." Problems arise because Monaco are not satisfied by the AC Milan's offer. Rossoneri offer Chamot or Brocchi in exchange but Monaco pretends much more.

Captain Maldini happy with Umit
17.9 || Kenneth

On the club's official web site, captain Paolo Maldini praised new-signing Umit: 'He did well, even if he was lucky to know Terim. He's fit and he is showing it'.

Umit: 'Fitting in such a squad is very easy'
17.9 || Kenneth

He arrived in Milan on Thursday. On Friday, he carried out his first training session and yesterday, his performance was excellent. Umit Davala talks about his first match with AC Milan: 'It's true. Usually, when you join a new squad, you struggle a little. However, fitting in such a squad was very easy'.

Maldini: 'With no-one injured, we fear nobody'
17.9 || Kenneth

Can AC Milan win the title. Captain Paolo Maldini explains: 'If we improve, yes. In these last couple of seasons, we were penalized by injuries, but with no-one injured, we fear nobody'.

Pirlo is too expensive for Bologna
17.9 || Kenneth

Bologna's Giuseppe Gazzoni Frascara, declared that the club won't sign Andrea Pirlo of aC Milan. Bologna need to replace Tomas Locatelli, who will be out for four months, but Pirlo is too expensive: 'He's a great player - Frascara said - but he's expensive. I don't know if more players will join'.

Bologna no to Pirlo
17.9 || Kenneth

Despite reports linking Andrea Pirlo with an injury hit Bologna side, the Milan youngster will not being joining the Rossoblu. Bologna have been chasing a creative midfielder with key man Tomas Locatelli sidelined until January.

It was believed that Pirlo would join on loan having found precious little space at Milan despite an injury to Manuel Rui Costa. The Azzurrini captain only joined Milan from Inter during the summer.

Bologna President Giuseppe Gazzoni Frascara confirmed: "Pirlo is a good player but he will cost too much. We are looking at other options."

Hodgson praises Milan
17.9 || Kenneth

Roy Hodgson has heaped praise on Milan following the Rossoneri’s 2-1 win over Udinese on Sunday night.

"Milan are a great team," said the Bianconeri boss, "and very hard to play against. They have great experience. Their front two are very effective and given a chance will take it."

The Cryodon-born boss has also pleaded for Roberto Muzzi, who has scored in the club’s three matches so far, to stay in Udine. "As Coach of this team, I need him to stay. I hope he changes his mind." The experienced striker has been linked with Parma.

Sheva Leads Milan To Victory Over Udinese
17.9 || Kenneth

A cynical AC Milan grabbed an important victory at Udinese on Sunday evening which allows the side coached by Fatih Terim to keep pace with city rivals Inter and especially with league leaders Juventus, who have a two point edge over the Milanesi after three matches.

The Rossoneri brought home the three points without impressing, but on the contrary to Udinese who held the run of play throughout most of the match, they were able to turn their offensive sorties into clear goalscoring chances that their strikers took full advantage of on either side of the break.

After only 10 minutes Shevchenko gave Milan the lead with a nice shot from the edge of the box that surprised Udinese keeper Turci on the near post. Udinese reacted well to Milan’s go ahead goal, but their midfield was unable to free Muzzi and Iaquinta in front of the Milan net that was well shielded by a poised red and black defense.

Inzaghi doubled Milan’s lead early in the second half by successfully connecting with a throughball sent inside the box by Shevchenko, a goal that appeared to seal the win off for Terim’s side. However an unneccessary foul by Kaladze on Colombian substitute Martinez allowed Udinese to get back in the game as Muzzi struck home the clear penalty.

With 15 minutes left to play Udinese had plenty of time to level the score, but only on the stroke of the final whistle did they come close to achieving this feat as Zamboni’s drive was denied by Abbiati’s feet.

“We still have to improve, but I think we can fight for the Scudetto,” said AC Milan skipper Paolo Maldini after the game.

I cannot stay at Monaco, says Milan-bound Simone
17.9 || Kenneth

Marco Simone will complete a move to AC Milan later this week after admitting that his spell at Monaco was over.

Simone was urged by Monaco coach Didier Deschamps to make a decision on his future at the Prinicipality club over the weekend. Simone was upset after the signing of Oliver Bierhoff, who also replaced the former Italy international as captain.

On Monday, Simone admitted that his time at Monaco had come to an end – and he launched a bitter attack at his treatment at the hands of Deschamps.

Though he never once mentioned his boss by name, it was apparent at whom Simone's anger was directed. He said: "We've arrived at a point of no return. I don't think that in difficult times, a captain should be put in a position of doubt. On the contrary, he should be respected even more. I'm not the one who chose this situation."

Despite Bierhoff's injury leaving a spare place up front, Simone was left out of the squad that drew 0-0 with Bordeaux. The point left Monaco fourth from bottom with one win from seven games.

Simone, who has been training with the reserves, continued: "Today I'm not considered as a key player. It's a situation you have to accept but maybe it would have been better to have been honest with me at the beginning of the season. For the good of everyone, it would have been easier to find some solutions – even if, personally, I have one because AC Milan want me.

"What disappoints me is the behaviour of certain people. While at Paris, you could say I had some declared enemies, here I've discovered I had hidden enemies. These days, some people hide and don't say hello to me anymore. After all we've been through together, and notably the title, it's tough.

"Maybe the club should thinkmk about the fact the two people [himself and Christian Panucci] are nevertheless solicited by big clubs. Panucci is with Roma and Milan want me.

"It's no use staying if my heart and head aren't in it because in these circumstances I become a vegetable. The choice in my mind is made. I have already turned the page."

In seven years at Milan from 1990 to 1997, Simone was part of the side that scooped four league championships, two European Cups and two European Super Cups.

He moved to PSG where he finished top scorer in both seasons in the capital. At the end of his first campaign in Paris, he won the French Cup and the French League Cup.

Monaco was the next stop, where his 17 goals and 12 assists helped the club win the French league title in 1999-2000. The following season, after the club sold Fabien Barthez, David Trezeguet, Sabri Lamouchi and Willy Sagnol, an early European exit and disappointing domestic form had Simone eyeing an exit.

He admitted last month that he was close to leaving Monaco over the summer. "You can fall in love with more than one woman and it's the same in football, you can love several clubs," he explained. "I loved Milan, then Paris and now I love Monaco.

"We almost split up in the close season, that would really have hurt. But in the end we stayed together," he added.

Shevchenko: "I was so glad for Inzaghi's goal"
16.9 || Kenneth

Shevchenko is confident after the victory in Udine: "More the time goes by, more Inzaghi and I get on well together. I was so glad for his goal. The first half was hard because Udinese defended very well, then we improved. We have time to improve more."

Terim: "Now we're waiting for Rui Costa"
16.9 || Kenneth

Fatih Terim, commenting the victory over Udinese, spoke also about Manuel Rui Costa's recovery: "I think that Rui will be already ready for next Sunday. Problems of abundance on the midfield? It's important that everybody is well."

Udinese 1 AC Milan 2
16.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan won a league match away from the San Siro for the first time since last Christmas with goals from Andrey Shevchenko and Filippo Inzaghi.

Shevchenko claimed his 52nd goal in just 69 Serie A matches early on.

Former Juventus striker Inzaghi doubled the lead early in the second period before Udinese made a fight of it in the closing stages after Kakhaber Kaladze brought down Gonzalo Martinez and Roberto Muzzi converted from the spot.

Milan looked strong at the back - and dangerous on the counter – allowing Roy Hodgson's side to create little despite all their possession.

With new Turkish signing Davala Umit making his debut, Milan went ahead on 15 minutes as Shevchenko fired home from the edge of the box, with the ball glazing Luigi Turci's near post.

Christian Abbiati saved Martin Juorgensen's shot from 25 yards and Andrea Sottil missed when well placed.

Close to half-time, a frantic melee after David Pizarro's corner saw Sottil shoot twice from inside the box but saw the ball cleared.

Inzaghi headed wide on 47 minutes from Umit's cross before the former Juventus forward scored with a low cross-shot past the on-rushing Turci after being set up by Shevchenko.

Jorgensen opted to shoot instead of passing to Muzzi with an hour gone before the Danish midfielder forced Abbiati into a great save.

Inzaghi missed a good chance on 72 minutes after Marco Zamboni's mistake and was made to pay within a minute as Muzzi scored from the spot.

Laursen hit the bar with a header from Demetrio Albertini's corner before Abbiati denied Zamboni with the last chance of the match.

Udinese: Turci, Bertotto, Sottil, Zamboni, Pieri, Pinzi (Martinez 56), Pizarro, Jorgensen (Di Michele 82), Helguera, Iaquinta, Muzzi (Pavon 82)

Milan: Abbiati, Contra, Laursen, Maldini, Kaladze, Umit, Alberini, Gattuso (Donati 75), Serginho (Roque Junior 90), Inzaghi, Shevchenko (Brocchi 82)

Referee: Gennaro Borriello (Mantova)

Booked: Gattuso and Contra (Milan)

Udinese 1 - 2 Milan - match report
16.9 || webmaster

Milan always do well in this stadium and Andriy Shevchenko started another chapter in this tradition with a low drive from the edge of the box. This is nothing new to the Ukrainian as he has scored five goals in his five encounters with the Friuli side. Shevchenko also had a hand in Milan's second as he nutmegged Andrea Sottil to set up Filippo Inzaghi's strike. New Turkish midfielder Umit Davala made a very positive debut for the Rossoneri.
Udinese were brought back into the game when Kakha Kaladze brought down Martinez and Roberto Muzzi duly converted. It was an exciting finale with chances for both sides. Martin Laursen nodded onto the crossbar, but Christian Abbiati was forced to make crucial saves on Martin Jorgensen and Zamboni.

Udinese: Turci; Bertotto, Sottil, Zamboni, Pieri; Pinzi (Martinez 56), Pizarro, Helguera, Jorgensen (Pavon 81); Iaquinta, Muzzi (Di Michele 81)

Milan: Abbiati; Contra, Laursen, Maldini, Kaladze; Umit, Albertini, Gattuso (Donati 75), Serginho (Roque Junior 90); Inzaghi, Shevchenko (Brocchi 81)

Ref: Borriello

Sheva about Ronaldo
16.9 || webmaster

AC Milan's striker Shevchenko, talks about the comeback of colleague Ronaldo and the fact that he passed him as average goals: 'To be honest, I didn't know it, as I didn't know that my tally is up to 51 after my brace against Fiorentina. However, for the game of football, I hope Ronaldo comes back soon'.

Iaquinta dreams of scoring vs. Milan
16.9 || webmaster

Vincenzo Iaquinta will start as a regular alongside Roberto Muzzi in the match against AC Milan: 'When I was a kid, I was an AC Milan fan, but that's history now. I hope to score and I need it, after injury'.

Rui to play vs. Lazio
16.9 || webmaster

AC Milan coach Fatih Terim talks about tomorrow's match against Udinese: 'Against Fiorentina, we played well but I want less mistakes in Udine. Rui Costa will be probably called for the UEFA Cup but will play against Lazio'.

Milan steps into Becks move to Juve
16.9 || webmaster

Auction for Manchester's midfielder. AC Milan are also ready to offer Victoria Adams a contract with T.V. Network Mediaset.

Simone-AC Milan, Deschamps:"I can't force him to stay with us"
16.9 || Kenneth

During an interview Monaco coach Didier Deschamps spoke about Simone issue and his possible future: "I never shut the door on Simone's face, but I don't want to force anybody to play with us against his will. If a technical transfer is necessary, before I want to speak with the President."

Simone told to make his mind up
16.9 || Kenneth

Monaco coach Didier Deschamps has insisted that he is not trying to force striker Marco Simone out of the club, although he admitted that he would not stand in his way if he wants to return to AC Milan. "It's up to Marco now," he said.

Simone is thought to have been upset with the way full-back Christian Panucci was transfer-listed and off-loaded to Roma after clashing with Deschamps, and he certainly wasn't happy at being left on the bench for last Saturday's 2-0 victory over Troyes.

"Marco hasn't trained with us this week, so he's not available for the game against Bordeaux on Sunday," Deschamps explained. "But I'm not shutting the door on his return.

"He can still show that he's worth a place in the team, and find himself back on the first 11. It's up to him."

Simone has been heavily linked with a return to former club AC Milan, who confirmed their interest last week. And with Oliver Bierhoff arriving at Monaco – ironically from Milan – Simone knows that he faces a battle to get back into the team.

"A player's personal upsets don't really count; only the team counts," Deschamps went on. "I would never keep a player against his will. But Marco has a contract with Monaco."

Simone has made no secret of his desire to return to the San Siro. "They're happy for me to join and I've given them my word as well," he said.

"My agent is away at the moment, so I'm waiting for him to return to sort the situation out."

Udinese vs. Milan - match preview
15.9 || webmaster

Probable line-ups:

Udinese (4-4-2): Turci; Bertotto, Sottil,
Zamboni, Pieri; Scarlato, Helguera, Pinzi,
Pineda; Sosa, Muzzi.
(De Sanctis, Caballero, Bedin, Pizarro,
Jorgensen, Di Michele, Iaquinta).
CT: Hogdson.

Milan (4-4-2): Abbiati; Roque Junior, Laursen,
Maldini, Kaladze; Contra, Gattuso, Albertini,
Serginho; Shevchenko, F.Inzaghi.
(Rossi, Chamot, Costacurta, Donati,
Umit, Brocchi, Javi Moreno).
CT: Terim.

Referee: Borriello.

Udinese with high morale after the point got at Rome, AC Milan more trusting due the large win against Fiorentina. Hodgson should not make any change, also if Pizarro, one among the players with the best form, could find a place in the starting eleven. Terim will miss Helveg, who will be replaced by Roque Junior. On the bench last arrived Umit. Both teams have aggressive attack and the show could value the price of the ticket. AC Milan favourite if on the pitch there will be the team which defeated Fiornetina, not that which got a draw in Brescia.

Galtasaray deny Hasan Sas's move to AC Milan
15.9 || Kenneth

Galatasaray, who have financial problems, denied that Hasan Sas will join AC Milan and Hakan Unsal will sign for Monaco. Director Abdurrahim Albayrak explained that the two players are not for sale and the club won't sell more players after the departure of Umit Davala.

Okan full of praise for Milan signing Umit
15.9 || Kenneth

Internazionale midfielder Okan Buruk believes his compatriot Umit Davala will be a great signing for city rivals Milan.

Umit followed in the footsteps of former Galatasaray team-mates Okan and Emre Belozoglu by moving to Serie A last week, and Okan is convinced the Turkey international has what it takes to succeed in Italy.

"I've known him for six or seven years," explained Okan. "He is a player who has so many qualities. For me, he is the complete midfielder.

"He can defend, he can set up goals and he can also score goals," enthused the Inter star. "He is trying to adapt quickly to the change in environment.

"He has already started learning Italian and I'm sure he will do really well at Milan."

Umit teams up with former coach Fatih Terim at AC Milan after completing a £3 million transfer from Galatasaray, but does not believe his relationship with the coach will help him earn a place in the first team.

"We worked together for four years in Istanbul, but that doesn't mean I expect any favours," said Umit, who has signed a four-year contract with the Rossoneri.

"I will work as hard as the other players to fight for a place in the starting line-up," he added.

Milan to loan out Pirlo
15.9 || Kenneth

In spite of the injury to Manuel Rui Costa, Milan look set to loan out fellow fantasista Andrea Pirlo to Bologna. The Rossoblu are currently suffering their own injury crisis and are in desperate need of an attacking midfielder after losing both Tomas Locatelli and Carlo Nervo to the treatment table.

Pirlo, who spent last season on loan at Brescia, was sold to Milan this summer by city rivals Inter for £10m. However, the former Under-21 international has failed to find space in Fatih Terim’s team and would appreciate the chance of first team action.

AC Milan to sign Hasan Sas for Terim
15.9 || Kenneth

More Turkish players for AC Milan: after Umit, Sas will join. AC Milan to offer Chamot or Brocchi for Marco Simone of Monaco.

Simone closer to AC Milan, Braida confirms to calciomercato.com: "We are working!"
15.9 || Kenneth

As calciomercato.com exclusively wrote few days ago Monaco's Marco Simone is on the verge of a move to AC Milan. The player seems to be in trouble with newly signed coach Didier Deschamps and recently informed the press about his wish to move back to Milan although chairman Jean-Louis Campora did not agree with his decision. Today AC Milan chief executive Ariedo Braida declared to alciomercato.com: "Simone? It is useless to hide our interest. We know him pretty well and we are hardly working." AC Milan Argentinean defender Chamot or Italian midfielder Brocchi may join Monaco in exchange for the ex AC Milan star.

Helveg doubtful for Sunday's match
14.9 || Robert

Morning training session for AC Milan. Ambrosini and Rui Costa worked individually, while Thomas Helveg is suffering with a left foot injury.

AC Milan, Galliani: "We will not sign any new player following Umit's arrival"
14.9 || Robert

AC Milan sole administrator Adriano Galliani declared: "We will not sign any new player following Umit's arrival but someone may arrive through exchanges. To sign Simone or Ganz would be just to spend money. We have not received any offer yet about Pirlo but we when Bologna will do we will carefully evaluate it together with the player."

Umit Joins Milan "I'm Ready Yet!"
14.9 || Robert

On Thursday afternoon AC Milan introduced to press and supporters last purchase of the summer market: Turkish right side Umit Davala will spend on loan the rest of the season in Italy with Milano's club having the chance to sign him definitely at the end of the championship.

After the medical tests and a short training with the new team mates, the player released his first declarations

"Of course it was important the relationship I had with Terim at Galatasaray to make me come here. But I'm sure this doesn't mean the coach will give me a place in the line-up just because we worked together previously. I'm ready to work hard and to give out my best to become a key-player in this squad" Umit said.

"What is positive, it's I can play in many different position, I'm kind of jolly, and just with Terim I covered all the zones of the pitch" Umit said

Then the player added "To leave Galatasaray it has not been an easy choice: we are at the top of the championship and in Champions League we won the first match. But my trainer in Turkey, Lucescu, suggested me to not lose this chance because I was going to join the best Italian club. I hope to reach with AC Milan the targets I looked for with Galatasaray"

Finally Umit moved far the possibility to find some problem to accustom himself with a new ambient "That's not a thing I'm worried about. I am a professional player and just for that I am able to change my live to face new adventures. If the coach wants I'm ready to be on the pitch also on Saturday night"

AC Milan: Galliani gives 'go ahead' for Simone
14.9 || Kenneth

Monaco's striker will replace injured Jose' Mari. Galliani: 'We will sign a fourth striker, but we won't spend insane fees. Umit presented and will make his debut this Sunday'.

Roque Junior 'blames' National side for not being an AC Milan regular
14.9 || Kenneth

Brazilian defender Roque Junior: 'I play a lot of matches with the National side and that ruined my chances with the club. I can't say I had a great season. My favorite role is central defender. I did play on the right as well'.

Milan giants back Rangers no-go policy
14.9 || Kenneth

Rangers have received the backing of both Milan clubs, Scottish politicians and the foreign offices of Germany and the Netherlands in their fight against Uefa's order to play in Dagestan.

The Scottish giants refused to travel to the troubled and unstable area of Russia for their Uefa Cup tie against Makhachkala this week, and lost an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after Europe's ruling footballing body told them they had no choice.

The first-leg first round tie, however, was subsequently postponed along with all other European games, as a mark of respect for the victims of the terrorist attack in America.

That decision has allowed Rangers time to enlist the help of powerful allies as they try again to avoid next Thursday's rescheduled game.

Ibrox chairman David Murray told the Glasgow Evening Times: "I don't think it's right to make rash statements after events over the past two days. But I can categorically say we are not giving up the fight, and we will be saying more on this in the next couple of days."

Rangers face a heft fine and a probable ban from European competition if they don't travel to Dagestan, not to mention being kicked out of this year's Uefa Cup.

But the club seem prepared to risk the possible punishment and Murray is now considering appeals to the European Court of Justice or the Court of Human Rights.

Sports Minister Allan Wilson is backing Rangers' case and the club's former vice-chairman, QC Donald Findlay believes it is an argument which can be won in the courts.

Findlay said: "Unfortunately, the likes of Uefa can show incredible arrogance. Football is infected by this kind of thing, but you can't railroad clubs.

"The European Court of Justice in Strasbourg would be the next logical stage and, with their verdict binding on Uefa, I think it would be inconceivable that Rangers would lose.

"I'd be very confident of success on the grounds that you simply cannot send people into a dangerous area to play football. Rangers have a weight of evidence in their favour from
foreign offices and clubs."

Rangers have also courted clubs in the powerful G14 group for support, and both Milan sides said they would not be happy either about playing

Internazionale sporting director Giuliano Terraneo said: "If we did not feel our safety was guaranteed, we would do exactly as Rangers have done and refuse to travel, then appeal the matter."

Milan's Vittorio Mentana added: "We would give the matter similar consideration."

Glasgow-born MSP Wilson added: "All advice from the Foreign Office strongly advocates against travelling to Dagestan, and events in America should tell us something.

"There are situations where the most intense security can't provide total protection and, looking at the degree of risk, then you must err on the side of caution.

"We are prepared to offer any assistance we can to Rangers - as of yet we have not been asked - but I have put my department on stand-by if we are."

The Foreign Offices of Germany and the Netherlands have also said they don't want their citizens to travel to Dagestan, and that includes
Rangers' manager Dick Advocaat, fellow Dutch players Arthur Numan, Fernando Ricksen, Bert Konterman and Ronald de Boer, and German colleagues Stefan Klos and Christian Nerlinger.

Rangers' fans have also swamped Uefa headquarters in Geneva with calls of protest, but spokesman Mike Lee said: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed the case by Rangers, and the match will definitely take place in Makhachkala."

Galliani: "We might sign Simone"
14.9 || Vito

While someone thought that the Milan management would give up signing Marco Simone from Monaco, Galliani declared: "We will sign a fourth striker, but without excessive expenses". So, they probably want to swap Simone with Brocchi or Chamot. Maurizio Ganz "would just be a cost", added Galliani.

Umit: "I'll have to work hard"
14.9 || Vito

"Lucescu told me I have joined one of the greatest Italian teams, but I already knew". Umit Davala seems aware of the importance of team he's going to play for.
Here he has rejoined Fatih Terim, who coached him at Galatasaray: "Terim is a very skilled coach, and I'll have to work hard to get a place as a regular. I'm aware I won't have any advantage".
He will wear the jersey numer 34. "I'd have liked the 22 shirt, but it was occupied. 34 is the Instanbul registration number, so I'll still wear a piece of Turkey".

Milan, lights and shadows: two months with Terim
13.9 || webmaster

>>Written by Vito Dantona, vito@sportrevolution.com

The impressive victory over a team once called Fiorentina seemed to cancel all the doubts which had accompanied AC Milan till the day before. As always, the truth lies in the middle: this Milan has great possibilities, but also made big mistakes.

I must confess that when Terim was announced, I said that he would be the next Tabarez. But the transfer market seemed at first to be the best of the last ten years: Galliani signed champions like Inzaghi and Rui Costa, youngsters like Pirlo and Donati, good players like Javi Moreno and Contra. The management had also succeeded in getting rid of those players who could not be useful for the team: Ba, Bierhoff, Giunti, Guly, Sala, and two legends like Leonardo and Boban. Signing Laursen would just complete the red and black defense...

At this point, the biggest mistake comes: Francesco Coco is loaned (but virtually sold) to Barcelona. I can't simply understand. He was one of the best players of last season. He was young. He was an international with Italy. Yet he was sold, though Milan had started a policy of decreasing the team's age. Coco said he wanted to play, but is he so sure he will find a spot with Barça? Was this the real reason of his leaving, or were there problems with the coach? His story reminds me of Panucci and Desailly, and I hope we won't miss him as those players.

What happened in Brescia is another black hole in this beginning of season. I do not want to enter tactical details by now, and journalists from all over the world have already done it. What is clear is that Terim seemed so weak that he revolutionized the lineup from the past friendly matches. I agree that friendlies are not important, but they can't be ignored at all: so the new squad was a real disaster, in spite of the late recovery.

The last match, instead, proved that Milan can play well, can score many goals, can win important matches, even without Rui Costa. Is that enough to say that Milan can fight for the scudetto? I don't think so. There are still some huge question marks, to which only Terim and time can answer.

Defense: Maldini looks everlasting, but he needs good mates. Kaladze proved he is, but is really Laursen worth of this team?
Who will occupy the right side?
Midfield: Will Albertini fully recover? Will Redondo ever come back? How will Ambrosini and Gattuso help the team? Will Serginho and Contra find continuity on the two sides?
Attack: Will Rui, Pippo and Sheva be one real goal machine, and not just three good players? Will Javi Moreno have the patience to wait for his moment sitting on the bench? And what if Marco Simone will come back from Monaco?

Only when these questions will be answered, we'll know whether Terim is just another Tabarez, or he is our new Sacchi. The real pity is that the answers will only come by May. There are still 32 matches plus the Cups before... there is to suffer a lot!

Umit deal completes AC Milan's transfer spree
13.9 || Kenneth

Galatasaray's Turkish midfielder Umit Davala completed his transfer to AC Milan Thursday, signing a four-year contract with the Italian first division side, ANSA news agency reported.
Umit will link up again with Milan's Turkish coach Fatih Terim for whom he played when Terim was in charge of the 2000 UEFA Cup-winners from Istanbul but Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani emphasised that the club's expensive transfer campaign was now over.
"Milan's transfer programme is not closed - it is closed-issimo (very closed)," quipped Galliani, who is the de facto head of the club while club president Silvio Berlusconi concentrates on his rather more important task of being Italy's prime minister.
"Now we will only sign someone if it is on an exchange basis," said Galliani whose biggest scalps this summer have been Fiorentina's Portuguese midfielder Manuel Rui Costa (37 million dollars) and Filippo Inzaghi of Juventus (35 million dollars).
Galliani explained the Umit operation was partly to demonstrate the club's faith in Terim who came in for some criticism last week but responded with a 5-2 victory over Fiorentina.
"Terim made a specific request (for Umit)," said Galliani. "We have decided to support that as a technical acquisition but also as a sign of faith in Terim."

Bologna Eyeing Pirlo Following Locatelli Injury
13.9 || Kenneth

The injury suffered by Bologna’s Locatelli at Chiveo that will sideline him for four months has forced Bologna to look for a creative who can replace the important Rossublu player. Former Inter and now AC Milan fantasista Andrea Pirlo appears to be this man, and Bologna coach Guidolin confirmed this to reporters today,

“ My team needs a midfielder with good offensive skills, and Pirlo fits these qualities, even though he is more of a forward, so we are trying to sign Zauli as well,” said Guidolin.

Pirlo arrived to AC Milan a week before the Rossoneri signed Manuel Rui Costa, and despite the Portuguese star’s injury, Pirlo has only seen bench.

AC Milan Unable To Sign Simone
13.9 || Kenneth

Reports coming from Italy yesterday indicated that AC Milan were very close to signing Monaco striker Marco Simone, but today the Rossoneri’s general manager Adriano Galliani answered back to these rumors by saying that their transfer market is closed.

“ Unless Monaco don’t accept an exchange of players with us, or we aren’t able to sell one of our players, Simone won’t join Milan. We don’t need an extra striker at the moment,” said Galliani.

Another player indicated as being tracked by Milan was Maurizio Ganz, but sources close to SoccerAge say that the side coached by Fatih Terim have no intention of signing the veteran forward.

No Simone return
13.9 || Kenneth

Milan Vice-president Adriano Galliani has ruled out a return to Milan for Marco Simone. The veteran forward had been linked with a move to the San Siro after falling out of favour at Monaco. The ex-Azzurri man had openly admitted he was keen on a Rossoneri return.

After signing Turkish international Umit Davala, Galliani confirmed that Milan will not be signing any more players for the near future.

"We don’t have the need for another striker, so Simone is not a target," said Galliani. "And we are not interested in Maurizio Ganz either." Ganz (right) has been training with Roberto Donadoni’s Lecco. Galliani also admitted that there had been no contact from Bologna for squad player Andrea Pirlo.

Milan confirm Simone interest
13.9 || Kenneth

Marco Simone could be set for an emotional return to the San Siro despite Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani admitting that there was no money available to bring in new players.

Galliani was speaking at the press conference to welcome midfielder Umit Davala to the club.

The Turkey international, who signed from Galatasaray for £3 million, was expected to be the last of the new faces in a Milan squad that has already been boosted by the big-money summer purchases of Cosmin Contra, Javi Moreno, Rui Costa and Filippo Inzaghi.

With club funds running short, Galliani declared: "Milan's transfer programme is closed – completely closed. We don't want to spent any more money."

But coach Fatih Terim only has three forwards – Andriy Shevchenko, Inzaghi and Moreno – at his disposal after it emerged that young striker Jose Mari will be out for three months after damaging knee ligaments in a friendly game against Alaves.

Last week Oliver Bierhoff was sold – ironically – to Monaco, where he replaced Simone both in the starting line-up and as club captain. Bierhoff scored on his debut against Troyes.

So Simone is an obvious target – and Galliani revealed that Milan were set to offer a player to the Principality club in exchange. "Simone could come back to Milan if Monaco accept a player in exchange," he said.

Midfielder Christian Brocchi, who joined Milan from Internazionale over the summer, is likely to be the player offered to the Didier Deschamps's side.

In seven years at Milan from 1990 to 1997, Simone was part of the side that scooped four league championships, two European Cups and two European Super Cups.

He moved to PSG and then onto Monaco, where his 17 goals and 12 assists helped the club win the French league title in 1999-2000. The following season, after the club sold Fabien Barthez, David Trezeguet, Sabri Lamouchi and Willy Sagnol, an early European exit and disappointing domestic form had Simone eyeing an exit.

He admitted last month that he was close to leaving Monaco over the summer. "You can fall in love with more than one woman and it's the same in football, you can love several clubs," he explained. "I loved Milan, then Paris and now I love Monaco.

"We almost split up in the close season, that would really have hurt. But in the end we stayed together," he added.

Umit passed medical - the player will be presented this afternoon
13.9 || Kenneth

Umit Davala passed medical and will be presented to fans and media at 15:30(cet).

Milan suffer injury setback
13.9 || Kenneth

Mohammed Aliyu has added to Milan’s injury list. The Nigerian youngster has suffered damage to his right knee and will miss three months of the season.

The fringe player was on loan at Monza last season and is considered a hot prospect for the future. He joins Jose Mari, Manuel Rui Costa and Fernando Redondo on the treatment table.

Simone-Brocchi switch?
13.9 || Kenneth

Monaco are pondering AC Milan's offer for Marco Simone. In fact, the French club are interested in midfielder Christian Brocchi and a parts exchange agreement could be reached.

Umit for AC Milan
13.9 || Kenneth

The Turkish International arrived in Milan yesterday. After Tuesday's win against Lazio, his Galatasaray team mates cheered him before he left for Italy.

Simone says yes to Milan
12.9 || webmaster

After Christian Panucci, who reached an agreement with AS Roma, another Monaco's Italian player could be join Italy back. Obviously we are talking about Marco Simone whose transfer to AC Milan (a return) has been considered as already done. The advance information published in the French newspaper are confirmed by sources very close to the Principality's team. The president Campora tries to keep the forward, on the other hand Simone wants to come back to the club that made him famous. Monaco confirmed Calciomercato.com to be in talks with AC Milan, and denied the inclusion of Chamot as technical counter item.

Pirlo to Bologna
12.9 || webmaster

Bologna seem set to sign on loan AC Milan and Italy Under 21 playmaker Andrea Pirlo. According to AC Milan coach Terim the player is surplus to requirements and consequently the player would appreciate the transfer.

More wallpapers
12.9 || webmaster

Hello,

I've just finished making two wallpapers and I've put them up on the site.

I hope you like them.

You can find them at:
http://www.acmilan-online.com/wp_03.php

Enjoy.

Inter want Zidane. Milan wants Becks
12.9 || webmaster

Real Madrid's chairman is ready to sell the Frenchman for Ronaldo. Zanetti, Dalmat and $38m offered, but Perz wants Ronaldo. Meanwhile, AC Milan are ready to offer Beckham a $7m contract per season. Simone ready to join back.

Terim about his countrymen
12.9 || webmaster

AC Milan's coach Fatih Terim, explained: 'Many says 'the show must go on', others prefer not to play'. On Galatasaray's fans who booed during the one-minute silence, Terim added: 'Yes, they were jeering terrorism'.

AC Milan interested in Hasan Sas
12.9 || Kenneth

Umit could not be the last player to join from Turkey. Hakan Unsal(left winger who was followed by Inter Milan together with Hasan Sas) and Umit Karan, are linked as well.

It's official, UEFA Cup and Champions League matches postponed
12.9 || Kenneth

European soccer's governing body postponed the rest of its matches for this week following the terrorist attacks in the United States. Eight Champions League and more than 40 UEFA Cup matches were scheduled to be played on Wednesday and Thursday. 'We've decided as a mark of respect and in recognition of the terrible events in the United States to postpone all this week's scheduled games, both UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup', spokesman Mike Lee said. Soccer officials said it had been impossible to stop the 13 games played Tuesday night without major security problems as many of the fans were already in the stadiums and some matches had already started.

Sheva is stronger
11.9 || Kenneth

'I'm fit, but I can do better, like AC Milan: we can still grow. I dedicated the goals to my family and all those who helped me. I now want to improve my game: it's nice to see Albertini back'.

Contra on the match against Fiorentina: "I am glad about the team's performance better than mine"
11.9 || Kenneth

Rumanian defender Contra talked about last Sunday's match against Fiorentina: "It was ok. Mostly I am glad about the team's performance better than mine. It was a wonderful exhibition with pressing and speediness. We have done what Terim wants. Now we have to keep on performing like this. I am still not top-shaped but I am improved compare to the match against Brescia. I was comfortable with having Helveg behind."

New shop function added
11.9 || webmaster

From now on you can purchase from our AC Milan Shop AC Milan jerseys with the name and number of your favorite player printed on the back.

You can go to check out our Shop section:
http://www.acmilan-online.com/shop.php

or you can go directly to the ones who are selling those jerseys:
http://www.elitesportsoccer.com/app/ecom.ASP?wci=index&pemail=webmaster@acmilan-online.com

Enjoy.

Umit shines on the spot
11.9 || webmaster

"Every Turkish footballer's dream is to play in Europe. And with a team like Milan. But believe me, there is great sadness inside me. Leaving the Galatasaray I love makes me very unhappy. My heart and soul will always be with you and with the team."

Those are the words of Umit Davala in a parting message to Galatasaray fans on his personal website, headed: 'This is not goodbye'.

On Tuesday, Umit makes his last appearance in a red-and-yellow shirt against Lazio in the Champions' League before moving to their Serie A rivals AC Milan. There he will link up once more with his former mentor Fatih Terim.

So who is Umit Davala and why has Terim persuaded Milan to fork out £3 million for him when they could have him for free when his contract expires at the end of the season?

It is fitting that the last act of his career with Galatasaray should be in the Champions' League. The moment every Lions fan is likely to mention when Umit's name comes up took place in the first round group phase of the competition in 1999-00 and the Rossoneri have good cause to remember it with a shudder.

They were Galatasaray's opponents at the Ali Sami Yen stadium when a penalty was awarded in injury time with the sides locked at 2-2.

If that remained the final score, Galatasaray would have been eliminated from Europe. However regular penalty specialist Gheorghe Hagi had already been substituted and his deputy Hakan Sukur (now with Internazionale) backed out, pleading exhaustion.

In their place, up stepped Umit. With delirium on the terraces and players on the bench unable to watch, his was the coolest head in the ground as he smashed the spot-kick into the roof of the net.

The rest is history. Milan were left spinning in freefall out of Europe while Galatasaray went on to take the Uefa Cup on penalties against Arsenal, a shootout in which, ironically, Umit missed.

Terim's successor at Galatasaray, Mircea Lucescu, has said little about Umit's impending departure but he is a player no manager would want to lose.

What makes him so indispensable is not only his prodigious work rate but his versatility. Lucescu has been using him mainly on the right of midfield but he can slot in anywhere across the middle of the park.

His height makes him useful in the air, and his forceful tackling mean that he can function as a defender when the need arises.

On a couple of occasions when he had an injury crisis on his hands, Terim even used him as an emergency striker; Umit has a powerful right foot shot. Indeed, if he ever decides to take up goalkeeping, Turkey's No 1 Rustu Recber had better watch out.

He rarely gets himself into trouble with referees and is regarded by his fellow players as a thorough professional, a hard man but not a violent one. That comes, perhaps, from German ideas about discipline. Umit was born in Germany in 1973 and holds dual nationality.

He began his career with Waldhof Mannheim before moving to Turkey to play for second division Afyonspor. After subsequent spells with Istanbulspor, Diyarbakirspor and Genclerbirligi, he was signed by Galatasaray in 1995, a year before Terim took over.

Initially he struggled to establish himself in Istanbul and just as he seemed to be doing so he suffered a horrific knee injury which kept him out of the game for months.

On his website, he vividly describes the moment when he knew the ordeal was really over. In a training game, he went in for a 50-50 ball with team-mate Suat Kaya and not only won it but flattened the diminutive Suat in the process.

"Okay," said Suat ruefully as he picked himself up. "I understand. Welcome back."

Although Umit is now a regular fixture in Turkey's national side, this is a relatively recent development. At 28, he has only 18 caps to his credit and has scored for Turkey just once, in a World Cup qualifier in Macedonia earlier this year.

Off the pitch, he is a keen amateur rapper, recording his own songs at home and has had several offers to make an album. Umit is also a regular in the gossip columns and last New Year's Eve tested the loyalty of the Galatasaray fans by being photographed kissing the daughter of Fenerbahce manager Mustafa Denizli.

But unlike many players who have succumbed to the Istanbul bright lights, Umit is not one to let his night life interfere with his day job. He is always present for training on time and always in good shape.

That, as much as his ability, is why Terim wants to work with him again – it is a case of one professional's respect for another.

Umit Davala will never be a Zidane or a Figo but the game needs artisans as well as artists and for those who recognise that fact, he is first class.

Ganz to return?
11.9 || webmaster

He's 33, and trains for Lecco. Jose' Mari out for three months, Bierhoff was sold and Javi Moreno could return in Spain.

Chamot for Simone?
11.9 || webmaster

French sport magazine 'L'Equipe' reports that Monaco's Marco Simone is on his way back to AC Milan. In fact, the two clubs are on the verge of reaching an agreement for the transfer of the striker in Italy and Jose' Antonio Chamot in France. In last week's 2-0 win over Troyes, the striker was left on the bench.

Laursen about his debut
11.9 || webmaster

Martin Laursen is very happy after his debut with AC Milan in the San Siro stadium: 'I couldn't dream a better start. We still need to improve at the back. However, we're working well. On the bench against Brescia? No problem. I am here to learn'.

Gomes has interest from AC Milan and Liverpool
10.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan lead the chase to sign striker Nuno Gomes from Fiorentina but Liverpool are also interested.

Gomes is wanted by both Liverpool and Manchester United but is keen to return to Portugal.

United made a £7 million offer to sign Portuguese international forward Nuno Gomes from Fiorentina last month but it is now unlikely to succeed. Renewed injury problems for Patrick Berger and patchy Premiership form mean Liverpool remain interested in the striker.

Fiorentina have had talks to sell the 25 year old Portuguese striker Nuno Gomes to Olympique Lyon and Sporting Lisbon with any move delayed by the player's wage demands. Milan are strongly linked with the player who was part of the Fiorentina team which lost 5-2 at the San Siro yesterday.

Fiorentina are paying Gomes nearly £2 million a year on his contract with nearly three years left to run on the deal and the French club cannot match those wages but Sporting are optimistic that a deal can be done to pair Gomes with new Brazilian striker Mario Jardel.

The 25 year old was Portugal's top scorer at Euro 2000 last summer and favours a return to Portugal with the Lisbon club after five years previously with Benfica. Fiorentina want to sell to ease their debt problems as president Vittorio Cecchi Gori prepares to sell the club after its bankruptcy hearings on September 15th.

Milan want a striker and have been linked with a bid to bring Marco Simone back to the club after Spanish forward Jose Mari was sent today for knee surgery in Belgium after ligmanent damage was suffered in a friendly in Spain last week.

TERIM "HAPPY FOR AC MILAN, SAD FOR FIORENTINA"
10.9 || Kenneth

After the disappointing debut at Brescia, AC Milan crash 5-2 Fiorentina on Sunday night and got the first three points of the season. For Florence's side another bad day which leave Mancini and his players with no points after two weeks.

Coach Fatih Terim can finally smile, after he has been already rumoured to be under fire "I'm satisfied of the way we played this time, for the whole 90 minutes we controlled the play and we built up many chances to score. What we did in this match is exactly what we have to do in every game"

"I have to say to be a bit sad because we got this great win against Fiorentina, my former club, and I know they are not facing an easy period. But unfortunately sometimes soccer is cruel"

Then the Turkish manager added "The team I lined-up at Brescia was not the right one, it happens to me as well to make some mistake sometimes"

In Fiorentina's dressing room another negative day risk to trouble even more the ambient. Coach Mancini admits to be worried "It's clear the situation we have to handle is really difficult and to escape bad surprises is just up to us, we must to start to take home points as soon as possible"

"What is good is the fact all the players took out their best and we had the chance to re-open the match. But then AC Milan scored again and we couldn't make anything else"

"Now we must to face in the best way the Uefa Cup match on Thursday, it can give us the morale we are looking for to improve" Mancini concluded.

AC Milan want a striker
10.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan are searching for a striker after Jose Mari's injury. Coach Terim has Sheva, Pippo Inzaghi and Javi Moreno available at the moment and the club might decide to sign Marco Simone, of Monaco. The striker was dumped by the French club and the player interests the club. Maurizio Ganz linked as well.

Jose Mari out for 3 months after surgery
10.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan's Jose' Mari, underwent surgery in the 'Eeuwfeest' clinic in Anversa, this morning. The player will be out of action for three months. He was carried out injured last week, in the friendly match against Alaves.

Terim's first success in San Siro
10.9 || Phuong

Seven months passed since the time when Fatih Terim announced about his resignations from Fiorentina. But the "Emperor" didn't remain jobless for a long period of time. The negotiations with Milan ended in an agreement so Terim became the first Turk to coach European giants. The first Serie A match in charge was not a success for Terim: a 2-2 draw with Brescia and loss of two points was an unexpected result for Milan fans. The "Emperor" was severely criticized by mass media in Italy, but still he admitted he has a lot of work to do and has no desire to listen to any humiliations from journalists.
"I accept criticism if fair," he said.
In the light of above-mentioned events, the second day match against his former club Fiorentina was a vital one for Turkish specialist.
An interesting question arouse before the match: how Fiorentina's supporters will treat Terrim?
He arrived in Florence about one year ago on the wave of enthusiasm after his side Galatasaray's UEFA Cup win. The city and supporters welcomed him with unhidden mistrust and polemics, but Terim, thanks to good results and his affability managed to conquer the place in the heart of Fiorentina fans.
But soon misunderstanding between president Cecchi Gori and the coach resulted at Terim's resignation. People in Florence was in favour of Terim, many supporters wanted him to continue working with the team. But the quarrel went too far and finally he decided to leave Florence promising to fans to return some day.
The match between Milan and Fiorentina was the compensation for his troubles suffered in Florence.
His first appearance in San Siro was a great success as both Fiorentina and Milan supporters cheered his arrival. After the match he made his way to Milan fans to greet and thank them for their support, then the "Emperor" also clapped to Fiorentina supporters.
And a 5-2 victory over his former club made Terim the most popular man in Milan on Sunday.

Tonic for Terim as Milan sink Fiorentina
9.9 || Kenneth

MILAN, Sept 9 (AFP) - AC Milan defeated Fiorentina 5-2 in an exciting Italian first division match at the San Siro Sunday evening, recording their first win of the season and easing the pressure on their Turkish coach Fatih Terim.

Despite two quality goals from Enrico Chiesa, the bankruptcy-threatened Fiorentina were no match for Milan for whom Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko scored twice with the other goals coming from Dane Martin Laursen, Filippo Inzaghi and Brazilian Serginho.

It must have been a sweet moment for Terim who had a stormy seven-month stint in charge of Fiorentina last season and was criticised in the Italian press after Milan's opening 2-2 draw at Brescia.

Milan were on top right from the start and the only surprise was that it took them 16 minutes to breach the Fiorentina defence.

The goal, when it came, followed a prolonged period of possession with Demetrio Albertini and Serginho biding their time before pushing the ball forward to Inzaghi.

Inzaghi quickly laid the ball off to Shevchenko who lifted the ball over Fiorentina goalkeeper Pino Taglialatela for his second goal of the season and his first in open play.

But within two minutes the visitors from Florence were level. The award of a freekick on the edge of the box against Paolo Maldini seemed harsh but there was no dispute about the quality of the freekick with Enrico Chiesa scoring with a dipping, swerving strike.

Six minutes from the break Milan were back in front. Serginho's corner was headed out straight to Laursen who volleyed an equaliser, his first goal for the club he joined from Parma after a season on loan at Verona last season.

Almost immediately Inzaghi forced another save from Taglialatela but in first-half injury time the former Juventus man got his reward when he took advantage of hesitation in the Fiorentina defence to round the goalkeeper and score.

After the break, Shevchenko's second on the half-volley from a Serginho corner banished any lingering notions of a Fiorentina comeback.

Chiesa notched his second after a fine one-two with Rossi to again reduce the margin to two goals but whether the cash-strapped Florentines can hang onto the man who was the top-scoring Italian in Serie A last season remains to be seen.

Suddenly Fiorentina stepped up a gear and Daniele Adani's shot was deflected behind for a corner after Christian Abbiati had made a fine save from Rossi but, at the other end, Milan substitute Cristiano Donati hit the bar after good work from Shevchenko.

Then Serginho made it five, firing home at the near post after being set up by Shevchenko.

Milan fans showed their backing for the Turkish coach before the kick-off and during the match by chanting his name. More performances like this will make such shows of support unnecessary.

MILAN HUMILIATE FIORENTINA
9.9 || Kenneth

FILIPPO INZAGHI scored his first goal for Milan as the Rossoneri beat the hapless Fiorentina 5-2 to record their first win of the campaign and present coach Fatih Terim with sweet revenge over his former club.
The win will come as relief for Terim but will fail to distract the Turk's critics on a night when five of the seven goals scored came direct from defensive errors and one from a dead ball situation.

Andrei Shevchenko opened the scoring in 16th-minute when Daniele Adani missed a clearance to leave the Ukrainian with the task of slotting the ball past Guiseppe Taglialatela in the Fiorentina goal.

But the lead stood for just two minutes. Enrico Chiesa hammering home a 20-yard free kick to level the scores.

For the next 30 minutes Fiorentina sat deep and comfortably held their own against a Milan side deficient in the inventive department. But creativity was not required for the home side to go in at the break with a 3-1 lead thanks to two goals in a short space of time before the interval.

Slack marking at a corner allowed Martin Laursen to stick out a foot to direct the ball home for Milan's second. And moments later Inzaghi had his first in a Milan shirt after, this time, Alessandro Pierini missed a clearance and enabled the forward to nip in and around Taglialatela.

The second period started as the first ended and Milan soon had a fourth when Shevchenko found space at corner to volley home from six yards. And although Chiesa pulled a goal back after sloppy defending from Laursen, the night belonged to Milan and Terim, and Serginho duly grabbed a fifth.

Other than the three points the brightest point for the Milan faithful was the return to action of Demetrio Albertini. The 30-year-old was a cultured star amid a Rossoneri midfield bereft of passing talent.

Albertini lasted for just over an hour before being replaced by Massimo Donati, the heir apparent to Albertini's thrown at the heart of the Milan team.

At the end Terim trotted over to the Milan fans and milked the applause but he may find those supporters less obliging when his side face sterner opposition than a team heading towards a relegation battle.

Inzaghi: "Without doubt there was a penalty on me, instead I've been booked"
9.9 || Kenneth

Inzaghi spoke again about the possible penalty during the match AC Milan-Fiorentina: "Without doubt there was a penalty on me, instead the referee bokked me for complaining, anyway I understand him because he is under pressure too as we are."

Milan-Fiorentina 5-2, show and emotions in San Siro
9.9 || Kenneth

The postponed match has been won by AC Milan 5-2 over Fiorentina, Victory under the Ukranian bomber Shevchenko's sign, author of a brace and an assist. The other goals have been scored by Laursen, Inzaghi (first official goal with AC Milan) and by Brazilian Serginho; on Fiorentina's side Enrico Chiesa's great performance (brace). Terim so that, replies with 5 goals the criticisms of the last week. Fiorentina after two matches are the last of the standing with Atalanta and Venezia (0 points).

Milan 5 - 2 Fiorentina - match report
9.9 || webmaster

Demetrio Albertini made his comeback after four months out with a knee injury but all eyes were on Fatih Terim as the Coach faced his former club on his home debut at the San Siro. Andriy Shevchenko opened the scoring with a delicate chip following Filippo Inzaghi's fine pass, but moments later Enrico Chiesa curled in a wicked free kick to draw the sides level. This is nothing new to the Fiorentina hitman as he has scored 13 times in his encounters with the Rossoneri.

Milan continued to push forward and defender Martin Laursen volleyed in Serginho's corner from the edge of the box to restore their lead. Fiorentina exhibited more of their defensive frailties as a Filippo Inzaghi pounced on Alessandro Pierini's poor backpass. Another of the Brazilian's corner kicks led to the fourth goal as Shevchenko volleyed in.

Fiorentina refused to give in and a stunning close control from Chiesa put them back in the game. It was end to end stuff in the second half and after Daniele Adani's chance, Massimo Donati clipped the crossbar on the counter. The match was evenly matched but man of the match Serginho blasted in Milan's fifth of the evening.

Milan: Abbiati; Helveg (Roque Junior 78), Laursen, Kaladze, Maldini; Contra, Gattuso, Albertini (Donati 67), Serginho; Inzaghi (Javi Moreno 83), Shevchenko

Fiorentina: Taglialatela; Moretti, Adani, Pierini, Vanoli (Morfeo 54); Di Livio, Rossi, Amaral, Amoroso (Rossitto 71); Nuno Gomes (Taddei 74), Chiesa

Ref: Saccani

Panucci and Simone set for Milan
9.9 || webmaster

Reports in Italy have suggested that Monaco’s Christian Panucci and Marco Simone could make a dramatic return to their former club Milan.

Panucci was put up for sale by the French side after a difference of opinion with Coach Didier Deschamps and looks almost certain to be back with the Rossoneri within the next few days.

Meanwhile negotiations are continuing for Simone who was disappointed at being dropped from the first team and replaced as captain by Monaco’s new arrival from Milan, Oliver Bierhoff.

Despite this, however, former Juve midfielder Deschamps has assured Simone that he still has a future at the club. "Marco is staying with us," said the Coach. "Panucci’s situation has changed, Simone’s hasn’t." But both players would relish a return to the club where they were previously so successful.

I accept criticism if fair, says Terim
9.9 || Phuong

MILAN, September 9 (DS) - The forthcoming match of the Serie A second round with Fiorentina will be one of the most difficult for AC Milan coach Fatih Terim.
In spite of the pressure after a 2-2 draw with Brescia in Italian championship opener, Terim is confident everything will be all right with his side.

"For ten days we have been training with 7 players, but despite this we will see an improved Milan that is eager to win the first home game of the season. The main objective is to repeat the performance of the second half against Brescia and to play the most attractive football possible. From the first minute we have to show our desire to gain a victory," Terim told club's official website.
"It's strange to have received so much criticism for a draw in an away match. But the rope with which they are trying to hang me won't take my weight. I have a lot of confidence in my players; I prefer the criticism to stick to me rather than to them.
"If we play bad and go two nil down as was the case against Brescia, it's normal that the manager is criticized. But if the opinions are directed towards the person and his career is in danger, I can't accept this because it's not fair."



GOMES LINKED WITH MILAN MOVE
9.9 || Kenneth

PORTUGUESE international Nuno Gomes has been linked with a move to Serie A giants Milan and ruled out a move to England.
Milan boss Fatih Terim is keen to sign a striker and with Fiorentina in financial trouble, he could be set for a move to the San Siro.

"This is a possibility, but I know nothing," is all the Rossonari boss would say.

Gomes, who was linked with a move to Manchester United last week, insists he is happy in Florence, but with the World Cup at the end of the season, he must be playing regularly in Serie A.

However, like Tomas Repka he may be forced out of the club due to the financial predicament the club finds itself in and Gomes says if that is to be the case, he would like to stay in Serie A.

"I would like to remain in Florence as I am happy here," he said.

Youngster Saar and Albertini called for tomorrow's match
8.9 || webmaster

This afternoon AC Milan did the finishing training session to prepare the match against Fiorentina. The session ended with a training match. Among the 19 called up players there is also the young Senegalese Mohammed Sarr, 19 years old, signed from Treviso.
Good news for black&reds: Demetrio Albertini will be on disposal 4 months later the knee surgery. AC Milan will resume the sessions on Tuesday morning.

Inzaghi: "The three points are most important than one of my goals"
8.9 || Phuong

Pippo Inzaghi is ready to debut in San Siro with AC Milan's shirt. "I'm a bit tired and I got a cold, but I can't wait to play in San Siro that always have a particular charm by night. I hope to score my first official goal for AC Milan, even if what is more important is to win. After the draw in Brescia we have to conquer the three points. Even if Fiorentina won't be an easy opponent as somebody said."

Terim "Three forwards are few,but it's false I asked for Hakan"
8.9 || Phuong

"The forwards? Three are too few, we'd need another, but it's false I asked for Hakan, with Galliani and Braida we talked in general" AC Milan coach Terim added "Umit? He is a player who can play in several roles. He'll be useful".

Terim snubbed Turkey for Milan
8.9 || Phuong

Under-fire Milan coach Fatih Terim has signalled his commitment to the club by revealing he rejected an offer to resume command of Turkey's national side.

Terim went on to admit that the approach took place before his appointment at the San Siro had been made official. "I had an inkling at the time that I was going to take over at Milan, where I have great things to do," he said.

"The Turkish football federation made me an offer four months ago but I refused," added Terim, who led Turkey to Euro 2000. He also coached Galatasaray to four successive titles and the Uefa Cup.

The former Fiorentina boss will only consider new offers when he has proved himself at the San Siro. "Only when I've been successful here can I think about new offers," Terim declared.

Galatasaray also failed to lure Terim back to Turkey in the summer. Former director Yurdasen Karahasan revealed that the Istanbul giants had failed in a bid to secure his services for this season. "Terim said that he had just signed a contract with AC Milan," he explained.

Current Turkey chief Senol Gunes has seen the pressure on him mount this week after his side conceded two late goals in a shock World Cup qualifying defeat to Sweden. The loss means that Turkey will not qualify automatically for the World Cup finals, but will face Israel or Austria in a play-off.

Gunes took repsonsibility for the result, saying: "If there has been a mistake made on the field, I take full responsibility because I am the commander of the team."

But Terim is unlikely to step in if Gunes goes. He has made it clear that he is at Milan for the long haul - despite the brickbats - by telling the board he may sign out-of-favour Internazionale striker Hakan Sukur for next season. "It's not a big issue at the moment but the club can finalise the transfer next year if they want him."

The prolific forward, who is understood to be keen on a return to Galatasaray, does not feature in new coach Hector Cuper's plans, after a miserable 2000-01 season under Marco Tardelli.

Terim has had an unhappy start to the Serie A season, where he was blasted for his team selection and tactics in the 2-2 draw at Brescia on the opening day of the season. Despite coming back from 2-0 down, 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."

Galliani later backtracked on the criticism and vowed to give the coach more time. "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."

Terim admitted after the match that his selection of defender Jose Antonio Chamot was ill-judged, but also cited the horror elbow injury sustained by Rui Costa as a mitigating circumstance.

AC Milan face Fiorentina, Terim's former side, on Sunday. The Florence club go into the match at the San Siro in an even worse position than their opponents, having continued a disastrous pre-season into the league campaign with a 2-0 home defeat against newly-promoted Chievo.

Terim "They want to hang me, but the rope won't withstand, it will break before"
8.9 || Phuong

AC Milan coach Terim today during the press conference declared: "I understand the criticisms on the first half in Brescia where in fact we were losing, but then they also criticized me, my personality, my career. They want to hang me but the rope won't withstand, it will break before. I trust my players, who are the same that in Brescia after scoring two goals tried to score another one. After the match against Brescia the President, Galliani and Braida called me to say they trust me and I have to be calm."

Terim "It takes some time before seeing the team I want"
8.9 || Kenneth

In Florence everybody criticized him then they regreted, "Even here at the end we'll win"-AC Milan coach said- "Contra will play on the midfield, obviously it takes some time before seeing the team I want. It takes time". On the injuries: "I've never complained, but we lose the ones who we tried to recover."



Helveg: 'We have to win tomorrow'
8.9 || Kenneth

Thomas Helveg is back in Italy after playing for Denmark in midweek: 'We needed four points and we made it. We now have two points advantage from Czech Republic and Bulgaria, and if defeat Iceland, we will qualify'. On the Italian championship, he added: 'Against Fiorentina, we have to win, especially after the bad match against Brescia'.

Nuno Gomes snubs Milan
8.9 || webmaster

To replace Jose' Mari, Hakan as well. The Portuguese doesn't want to be a reserve. Meanwhile, confirms from Spain: Contra for Salgado. Abbiati to Trapattoni: 'Third goalkeeper is enough for me'.

Football Oscar nominations announced - Rui and Donati are in!
7.9 || webmaster

The nominations for the fifth edition of the Italian Football Oscars have been announced. The awards were organised and voted by the AIC (Players Association) to celebrate the best players, Coaches and referees of the last season.


The two Roman clubs were heavily represented, but surprise Serie A side Atalanta also clutched four nominations. The star-studded ceremony will take place in Parma on October 1.


The nominations are:


Best Italian player: Nesta (Lazio), Tommasi (Roma), Totti (Roma)


Best foreign player: Crespo (Lazio), Rui Costa (Fiorentina), Zidane (Juventus)


Player of the season: Crespo, Nesta, Rui Costa, Tommasi, Totti, Zidane


Best young player: Cassano (Bari), Donati (Atalanta), Pelizzoli (Atalanta)


Best goalkeeper: Buffon (Parma), Pelizzoli (Atalanta), Toldo (Fiorentina)


Best defender: F.Cannavaro (Parma), Nesta (Lazio), Thuram (Parma)


Best manager: Ancelotti (Juventus), Capello (Roma), Vavassori (Atalanta)


Best referee: Braschi, Collina, Rosetti

Milan give Redondo more time
7.9 || Kenneth

Injury-plagued Fernando Redondo has returned to Spain for yet more rehabilitation work on his knee after AC Milan admitted their £11.25 million signing needed some breathing space as he fights for fitness.

The ex-Argentinian international moved to Milan from Real Madrid in July 2000, but has hardly played after damaging his cruciate ligaments three months later.

He was expected to be out for six months after an operation, but complications have hampered his recovery.

Club doctor Rodolfo Tavana, however, dismissed speculation that Redondo's career is under threat at Milan.

He said: "There have been problems with the tendons and part of the bone, and this has stopped the player working with his team-mates in training.

"We decided it would be better if he went back to his Madrid home, away from the anxiety and pressures here. He can work on his rehabilitation there."

Redondo joined Milan after his relationship with Real Madrid deteriorated following his decision to support Lorenzo Sanz in the presidential elections. Sanz was promptly defeated by Florentino Perez.

Interview with Rui Costa
7.9 || Kenneth

World Soccer: When did you first find out that you were going to Milan? Had it all been settled for quite a while?

RUI COSTA: Not at all. I went off for my summer holiday in the Algarve knowing that I had to stay at least one more year at Fiorentina. Then, to my annoyance, I learnt from the press and my lawyers that negotiations had been going on, but that Fiorentina hadn't made any calls to me about it. The last time I'd spoken to the directors was two days after we won the Coppa Italia and at that point I had practically signed a new contract with them. But I must point out that Milan spoke to Fiorentina first, and only then to me. That's the way these things are done. Whenever there has been any interest shown in buying me, it's not my views that are looked for.

It looked at one point as though Parma were certain of signing you.
They have always been very insistent, but it had concerned me a little that they never gave me time to think things through properly. Fiorentina were keen to sell me quickly and Parma were ready with the cash, but I needed to be able to think about what would be the best move for me.

And what did you decide?
I wanted to stay at Fiorentina. When I heard that they were going to have to sell some players, I was sure that I would never be one of them. When I found out that even I was up for sale, I felt really down - I even cried. I felt I had been lied to. Perhaps they were just embarrassed about telling me.

But presumably you still feel some attachment to the club and to the city.
Yes. I can't and won't wipe out seven years of my life. I'm happy that I was there, it was a great time, from a personal point of view; it's just a shame that I didn't win a great deal on the pitch. But I'm not at all sorry that I stayed for seven years. They helped to make me who I am.

But what's it like to spend every year so many points off the top and watch while other teams battle for the championship?
It's a very tough thing to go through, though, as I've already said, I was always happy there. But I know how it upsets the people of Florence. It's unique for an Italian team of that size to find itself in such a position.

You haven't been at Milan long, but what has struck you most about the club?
I've rarely changed teams and I was very curious to find out what it would be like to be somewhere different after seven years in the same place. The thing I noticed first here was the impressive level of organisation, and the hunger to win. You see the likes of Maldini, Costacurta and Albertini - players who have won everything and who still want to keep on winning. They've got this incredible, crazy sense of motivation. That's infectious, and it is they who drive me on to want to do great things.

Can we expect more goals with your new team?
I know I can score more, but bear in mind that I will also be creating goals, particularly for Inzaghi and Shevchenko.

Sheva says it was he who asked Milan to buy you, even ringing up club president Silvio Berlusconi.
I'm happy to please others, as they say. I'm very pleased that a player such as Sheva should want to play with me. He and Inzaghi are the attackers who have scored the most goals in the past two years. It's such a great feeling - hitting the back of the net.

You must be used to getting assists. You played alongside Batistuta for six years.
He was quite different. These two are much faster, and it will be great for me to know that there are two attackers always in the area and ready to make runs.

Let's talk about your coach at Milan, Fatih Terim.
You appear to dote on each other. Very true. I remember saying a few months ago that if I ever become a coach, I'd like to be like Terim. Look what he did at Fiorentina. In just a few short months last season, he pulled together a fantastic team which played above itself. He believes in his players, knows how to motivate them, to be persistent.

He let you play in a free role, behind the forwards.
He let me play wherever I wanted, whereas others have used me to play wherever the team needed it.

The Milan fans are hoping you'll become the new Rivera.
That's a bit like what happened at Fiorentina, when everyone kept comparing me to Antognoni and to Baggio. To be frank, I've only ever seen Rivera play on TV, and he's a little like Eusebio. I can't give an opinion, with only pictures to go on.

Milan have got problems in midfield with so many players out through injury - Albertini, Redondo, Ambrosini, Gattuso.
It is a problem and it may be that the formation will need re-shaping. Perhaps I'll even have to go into midfield - I don't know. But what I do know is that when I was at Fiorentina you really felt it if you had a player missing. Here, there are plenty of great players to rely on, who are ready to fill whatever position is vacant.

What are they saying about all this in Portugal?
They're all very pleased. Some had been saying that I really ought to join a big side, otherwise I'd end up like Futre, a great player who nevertheless spent most of his career at Atletico Madrid.

But Futre did get to Milan. You are the only two Portuguese players who have played for the club.
The Portuguese game is full of great players - just look at Figo too. There are always at least seven great players in our national side, but no front men. It's just a feature of our game.

AC Milan-Fiorentina Preview and Tactical: Terim Faces His Past
7.9 || Phuong

The start of the season for AC Milan was not as good as the fans expected: the team was strengthened in an impressive way over the summer, but the opening match in Brescia, where the rossoneri were forced to recover a 0-2 deficit in the second half, showed that coach Fatih Terim still has a lot of work to do. Milan look too weak in the middle, as well as too offensive-oriented, and will struggle against every Serie A team until the Turkish coach will manage to find a good balance on the pitch. In this view, the recovery of influential playmaker Demetrio Albertini could be fundamental.

If Milan are slightly in trouble, Fiorentina are in a mess. The tough 0-2 home defeat against newly-promoted Chievo showed all of the big problems the viola have, and the future doesn’t look good at all. Actually, the club’s devastating financial problems had a bad effect on the team, both on the mental and on the technical side: there’s no money to buy new players, and the only rumours are about possible sales (of the best men: Repka joined West Ham, Nuno Gomes and Chiesa could leave the club in the next days). The job for coach Mancini seems to get tougher each day.

TEAM NEWS

- Milan:

In addition to long-term injured midfielders Ambrosini and Redondo, coach Fatih Terim will miss Portuguese playmaker Manuel Rui Costa, who got injured in the opening match against Brescia and won’t be back before early October, and Spanish forward Josè Mari, who will be sidelined until December. After 4 months, veteran playmaker Demetrio Albertini will finally be back in the starting eleven.

Starting lineup (4-4-2): Abbiati; Contra, Costacurta, Kaladze, Maldini; Gattuso, Albertini, Donati, Serginho; Inzaghi, Shevchenko

Bench: Rossi, Helveg, Laursen, Brocchi, Donadel, Pirlo, Javi Moreno

-Fiorentina:

Another influential man left Fiorentina, Czech defender Tomas Repka, who joined West Ham on Friday. Coach Roberto Mancini will make a lot of changes in his lineup, in comparison to the opening match against Chievo: the 4-2-3-1 will become a much more covered 4-4-1-1, with Chiesa as the lone striker and Morfeo supporting him in the position of offesnive midfielder.

Starting lineup (4-4-1-1) Taglialatela; Adani, Pierini, Moretti, Vanoli; Di Livio, Amaral, Baronio, Amoroso; Morfeo, Chiesa

Bench: Manninger, Cois, Benin, Taddei, Rossitto, Rossi, Nuno Gomes


PLAYERS TO WATCH

-Milan: Demetrio Albertini. He has been sidelined for the last four months, and Terim is sure that the recovery of the veteran midfielder will give Milan the balance they missed so far. For sure, if he’s already in a good shape, Albertini can be a crucial player, especially now that Rui Costa is injured.

-Fiorentina: Enrico Chiesa. Milan play for the first time in front of their fans this season, and will surely attack massively from the starting whistle, also because this is Terim’s mentality. This should leave inviting spaces for Fiorentina, and Chiesa is one the best Italian counterattackers: for sure, the Turkish coach knows him very well…



TACTICAL OVERVIEW

- The Brescia lesson was useful for Terim, and Milan fans will never again see that weird lineup. The rossoneri will play with an apparently more reilable 4-men defence: powerful Romanian right wing-back Cosmin Contra will be finally fielded from the starting whistle, Kaladze, who is a defender and not a midfielder, will play in his position. In a few words, the 4-4-2 (which will become a 4-3-1-2 when Rui Costa will be back) seems definitely the best choice. But also Fiorentina will field a more reliable lineup: the ambitious 4-2-3-1 Mancini fielded in the first matches of the season is too vulnerable, and with all of the problems the viola have the 4-4-1-1 should make them much more reiable on the defensive side.


SOCCERAGE PREDICTION

Easy win for Milan against a shaky opponent? I don’t think so. The lack of Rui Costa is a big problem for the rossoneri, although the return of Albertini should improve the midfield; but what I expect is a much better Fiorentina, since they have nothing to lose and want to show everybody that they’re not so bad. A surprising draw?

Milan 1 Fiorentina 1

Gattuso: "We have to defeat Fiorentina"
7.9 || Phuong

Dinamo midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has declared on next match against Fiorentina: "We have to win. We did not manage to defeat Brescia away but this time we can not fail. It s not true that against Mazzone's team we have played badly. We have managed to equalize and we were losing 2-0: we have proved to be a great team."

AC Milan, Nuno Gomes or Hakan
7.9 || Kenneth

The Portuguese is the favorite, but the Turkish is less expensive. Umit to join on Wednesday.

(Terim) 'You'll soon count Sheva-Inzaghi's goals'
7.9 || Kenneth

(Terim) 'Watch out Fiorentina, AC Milan have two superstars upfront'. 'Yes, they are good, like Chiesa. They were born to score goals'. You'll soon count their goals'.

AC Milan, contacts with Real Madrid: Salgado for Contra
7.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan still want to replace injured Jose' Mari: besides Hakan Sukur, club linked with other players. Franco Baresi: 'I am ready to coach'. Rumours talk about parts exchange Contra and Salgado.

Coco receives early warning
7.9 || Kenneth

Barcelona president Joan Gaspart revealed on Thursday that Italy defender Francesco Coco, who has just completed a move to the Catalan giants, will be ousted at the end of the season if he fails to deliver.

Coco, who rejected an offer from Manchester United to move to the Nou Camp from AC Milan on a one-year deal, will be offered a five-year contract extension if he impresses.

Barca have paid the Serie A giants £1.4 million for this term but will have to shell out a further £9.6 million over three years should they decide to keep him.

"If we don't want to keep Coco at the end of the campaign, we can cancel his contract," Gaspart said.

"He has signed a six-year contract but only because that was how we had to do it to balance the books. It's impossible to expand the budget anymore than it already has been."

The Italian is aware that his sojourn in Barcelona could be cut short. "I'm here at the moment, but I can't tell how long I will stay," he said.

Coco stated that he was happy with the move, but had admitted earlier this week that he was disappointed to have left AC Milan.

"My dream was only Milan, but it vanished and Barcelona strongly wanted to have me," he said.

"Fatih Terim said that Serginho was so important, irreplaceable and these words convinced me that my time at AC Milan had come to an end.

"I'm sorry. This club has been my second family. It must be clear, I will leave Milan, but I didn't quarrel with anybody, neither with the club, nor with the coach."

Terim hopes for a tonic on San Siro debut
7.9 || Phuong

AC Milan coach Fatih Terim knows only victory will do when his new charges host his former club Fiorentina at the San Siro in the Italian championship on Sunday evening.
A disappointing 2-2 draw in Milan's opening fixture at Brescia has already provided the snipers in the Italian press with their first managerial target of the new season and events off the field have fuelled a sense that the Turk is already walking a tightrope.
After a week off due to World Cup qualifying matches, the Spanish first division starts up again Saturday with nearly every club coach nervously wondering what state their players will be in when they return from international duty.
None will be more concerned than Real Madrid's Vicente Del Bosque, who has had nearly every member of his squad involved in at least one international game over the last seven days. /p
Germany hopes to put an end to its World Cup mourning this weekend as the country tries to prove that its league is still one of the strongest in Europe.
After the national team's nightmare 5-1 defeat to England in Munich last Saturday, the Bundesliga gets back to action with defending champions Bayern Munich facing league leaders Borussia Dortmund.
In Italy, Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani felt it necessary to give Terim a vote of confidence after the Brescia match where the Turk fielded a starting line-up that was unusual to say the least.
Several journeymen were included and Italian international Francesco Coco was omitted and subsequently sold to Barcelona.
Much has been made of the meeting the Friday before the Brescia match between Terim and Milan veterans Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Costacurta, two survivors of the 'Grande Milan' side that was the best club side in the world in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Maldini and Costacurta have since publicly insisted they are behind Terim but only a victory against Fiorentina will be enough to silence the gossip that discontent is rife in the dressing room.
Portuguese playmaker Manuel Rui Costa, who dislocated an elbow and broke a bone in his hand against Brescia, is ruled out of the match against his former club.
Terim has the consolation of knowing that he is facing the biggest crisis club in Italy with Fiorentina fighting to stave off bankruptcy and defeated 2-0 at home by Serie A newcomers Chievo in their first match of the season.
The other close-season big-spenders Juventus are in much better shape and topped the table after week one by virtue of their 4-0 victory over Venezia.
Juve travel to Atalanta who inflicted a rare defeat on the Turin giants in Bergamo last season.
Inter Milan, also impressive on day one, visit Parma with their Brazilian striker Ronaldo saying he wants to make his long-awaited comeback but Argentinian coach Hector Cuper suggesting that he might have to wait.
In Spain, Del Bosque has made no secret of the fact he is looking for a convincing victory at home against Malaga on Saturday in order to silence the critics who have blasted him for two weeks after the Spanish champions' opening day 1-0 defeat at Valencia.
A win is also vital to boost morale ahead of Tuesday's difficult Champions League match at Roma.
However, the lugubrious Real Madrid coach will have to do without his inspirational winger Luis Figo against the Costa Del Sol club, as the Portuguese international is suspended after being sent off in his last match.
Figo's absence opens the door for Steve McManaman to come back into the starting line up on his favoured right side.
There are also concerns about whether Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos will be fit to play after the bruising encounter against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Wednesday night and the subsequent long haul trip back to the Spanish capital.
In Germany, Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who suffered the embarrassment of facing a rampant England in Munich, said he has already put the World Cup defeat behind him.
"I have experienced everything in my career. I'm now concentrating 100 percent on Bayern, as we have an extremely tough few weeks ahead," Kahn told the club website.
It's a tough week ahead for Bayern. After Saturday's testing encounter, in the Westfalen Stadium, they will open up the defence of their European Champions League crown with an away tie at Feyenoord.
"There's a huge amount riding on Saturday's match, it's a question of prestige," said Kahn.
Tomislav Ivic faces a daunting start to his new career as Marseille coach as the former European champions take on second placed Lyon in the French league on Saturday.
Third from bottom of the French Championship with just two points from five matches, there is never a dull moment at Marseille as another weekend approaches against a background of crisis and controversy.




AC Milan Online launches the forums
6.9 || webmaster

acmilan-online.com is proud to announce its visitors the opening of the Red & Black forums. If you want to talk Milan, then this is the place to go.

The Red & Black Forums are located at:
http://forum.acmilan-online.com

You have to register before you can post, of course, but that won't be too much of a problem.

We're also planning to add a Italian version for the forums soon.

My nick at the forums is David.

Enjoy!

Redondo moves back to Madrid
6.9 || Robert

AC Milan have informed that injured midfielder Fernando Redondo is moving back to Madrid where he will keep on recovering. The Italian club signed the Argentinean midfielder more than one year ago but he has never played due to a knee injury. AC Milan medical staff in chief Rodolfo Tavana has informed that Redondo will move back to Madrid just because he prefers to be closer to his family and to work more serenely in order to be fit again.

The Italian Interantionals and Kaladze already back
6.9 || Robert

Afternoon training session for Terim's guys.
The three Italian internationals (Maldini, Gattuso and Inzaghi) and Kaladze are already back in Milanello.
Shevchenko, Contra and the two Danish Helveg and Laursen will arrive later just in time to do a light session. Tomorrow also the Brazilians should join the group.

Brocchi: "We must win against Fiorentina to keep a good place on the standing"
6.9 || Robert

Exclusive on Milan Channel Christian Brocchi expressed his optimism for postponed match against Fiorentina.
"It's a difficult match for both the teams, but with the Internationals' arrival we could work better than what we did till now. Against viola we will show all our temper. We got over the match agaisnt Brescia: we have to start again and to win against Fiorentina to keep a good place on the standing".

Inzaghi defends Terim
6.9 || Robert

Filipo Inzaghi has reacted to media criticism of Milan's opening day draw with Brescia by declaring that they will soon see "the real AC Milan".
After his engagements with the national team, the AC Milan striker is now ready to focus on his club team, and has hit back at the Italian media for the harsh criticism they dished out to Milan after the first game of the season.

"Let's try to analyze things logically. Look at the first games of the Campionato and you'll see that defending champions Roma were tied to a draw with Verona, and Lazio were also tied to a 1-1 draw at home by Piacenza," he said during a press conference.

"Despite all this we are the only ones who received a load of criticism for drawing with a team like Brescia that has already had plenty of time to put their squad together for the season since they played the Intertoto Cup.

"It's true. We did not play a good first half with Brescia. Still this is no excuse for all of the criticism we've received."

The former Juventus striker believes that Fatih Terim is doing a very good job and that better performances are on the way.

"You'll probably have to wait a while, but not much longer before you can see the real AC Milan. I am positive that Sunday's game with Fiorentina will mark a change in our team."

"I know Terim very well, and to even think that he would ask our players to suggest who to play is ridiculous. I sincerely hope to be able to win and win big with him. He's a great coach, the type of boss that always listens and tries to talk to his players. You'll soon see what he's capable of."

Baljic flies into Milan for talks
6.9 || Robert

Real Madrid striker Elvir Baljic says he is close to signing a contract with AC Milan, provided the two clubs can agree a fee for the Bosnian.

It would appear that this Saturday is D-day for the 27-year-old as he and his agent Dino Pasalic will be in Milan for final negotiations with club executives of the Serie A giants, ahead of a potential move to the San Siro.

Baljic, who featured in his country's 2-0 defeat in Wednesday night's World Cup qualifier in Austria, has already announced that he is ready to sign for Fatih Terim's men although earlier this week it seemed that negotiations had reached a dead end.

Since then, Milan's medical staff have announced that José Mari will be out of action until at least January with torn knee ligaments and his injury leaves Milan with just Andriy Shevchenko, Javi Moreno, Filippo Inzaghi and Nigerian teenager Aliyu in attack.

Milan decided to resume negotiations and while the Bosnian international had stressed that it was his aim to win back his place at Real, the Madrilenos are eager to inject cash into the club by offloading some of their unwanted players.

Real would like to recoup some of the 3.5 billion pesetas ($18.7million) they paid for Baljic in 1999 but Milan are believed to be offering somewhere in the region of 2 billion ($10.8million) for the player.

Pasalic is confident the two clubs will reach an agreement over the fee for his client and that Baljic will be a Milan player very soon.

Milan make Umit move official
6.9 || Kenneth

Milan have signed Galatasaray midfielder Umit Davala on a one-year loan deal with the right to buy at the end of the season for £3.5m. The news was announced on the Rossoneri’s official website but the Turkish international will only join his new teammates after next Tuesday’s Champions’ League opener against Lazio.


It was previously believed that Umit could have debuted this Sunday against Fiorentina with a medical to be sustained tomorrow afternoon. However, the move itself is delayed for a week and he will agree terms for a contract worth £1.7m per season.


Umit was expressly requested by Coach Fatih Terim, who found great success with the midfielder at Galatasaray before his Serie A spell. It has also been suggested this week that the man they call ‘The Emperor’ plans to bring more former Gala stars to Milan, including Inter’s under-used duo Hakan Sukur and Okan. However, the Turkish press claims the chances of these moves going ahead are “remote.”

BALJIC IN MILAN LINK
6.9 || Kenneth

BOSNIAN forward Elvir Baljic is believed to be close to a move to Milan, with the injury to Jose Mari lending momentum to the reports from Spain.

The Real Madrid striker is only on the fringes of the Santiago Bernabeu side and his transfer would free up a foreign spot for the club, perhaps allowing a December swoop to shore up their league and European charge.

Jose Mari is believed to be out for the season after surgery on knee ligament damage, prompting the renegotiation of a deal for Baljic, first talked about in July.

The Italian side had to wait before either Oliver Bierhoff or their Spanish star left the club before signing the Bosnian, and now that the German has moved to Monaco and Jose Mari is out, a meeting between Milan and Baljic's agent Dino Paslj is reported to have been scheduled for this week.

However, Baljic has stated on numerous occasions he wants to stay at Real and be the new Steve McManaman, who eventually proved his worth after a difficult start in Spain.

"I think I did well for Real Madrid going to Fenerbahce and now I only ask them to give me a chance to show I can be a Real Madrid player," he stated.

The forward was registered to play in the Champions League but his role seems to be as a reserve. In addition, he has still not been named in Real's official 25-man squad, although this could be done before September 15.

COCO: I'VE SIGNED PERMANENT DEAL
6.9 || Kenneth

FRANCESCO COCO caused a bit of an upset in the press conference formally introducing him to the Barcelona media by claiming he had signed a six-year contract.

Coco denied claims made by Milan and Barca that stated he had only arrived on a year-long loan, saying he had been formally transferred.

Speaking to Ona Catalana, Coco said that he had not signed temporarily with a view to a permanent move but had already completed a permanent transfer, something at odds with Anton Parera, who is Barcelona's sporting director and Adriano Galliani, Milan's vice president.

Parera and Galliani talked about a loan for one year for 400 million pesetas (£1.5 million) with an option for another five seasons. This would cost the Catalan side 2,600 million pesetas (£8.7 million).

Coco said that the two payments were part of his six-year deal and not separate transfers within themselves.

RUI COSTA "FIORENTINA WON'T GET RELEGATED!"
6.9 || Kenneth

Manuel Rui Costa won't be on the pitch on Sunday to face his former club Fiorentina, after he got injured in the Serie A opening round at Brescia. And the Portuguese ace reveals to be very disappointed from that, and he warns his new team mates to not under rate Florence side, even if Mancini and Co. spent a nightmare summer among all the financial troubles the club had to face and started the league with a surprising home defeat 0-2 for the hand of newly promoted side Chievo Verona.

"Probably it should have been a strange match for me, to face Fiorentina after all the seasons I played with them. Maybe my performance should have not been so good. But I really would have liked to play on Sunday. Especially because it will be the first official match of the season at San Siro, in front both of my new public than of my old supporters".

"What I can do in this moment is just to warn AC Milan they must not think Fiorentina is on the verge to collapse just because they spent a difficult summer and they lost at the debut with Chievo. I know very well the dressing room of the Florence's side and I know there the players can find the spurs for a reaction and to trouble any opponent"

"That's why I'm quite sure it won't be easy for us to take home the three points, but we had as well a problematic beginning and now we cannot handle other false step. I think if we keep in mind to respect the opponent, well, we can win at the end" Rui Costa said.

"I heard many to say for Fiorentina the target this season is to not get relegated. Well, this is an exaggeration in my opinion. Probably they are not competitive for the important targets, but I'm sure they can spend a tranquil championship, with ups & downs"

"Mancini is an excellent coach and he proved to be able to bring the team through difficulties already the past year, when the first problems came out. Despite of that, he took the team to the victory in Coppa Italia" concluded the Portuguese ace.

Antognoni to join Milan staff
6.9 || Kenneth

Former Fiorentina legend Giancarlo Antognoni is to join Milan today. The ex-Italian international told Roma based the Corriere dello Sport that he would be scouting for new players for the Milan giants.

The former golden boy of Italian soccer has been out of the game since he quit his director post at Fiorentina last season when Fatih Terim left the club after numerous disagreements with President Vittorio Cecchi Gori.

"Everyone knows that as a child I was a Milan fan," he said. "Now I’m off to Milan where I will also team up with a little part of Florence in Terim and Manuel Rui Costa. I wanted them at Fiorentina and the sacking of the Coach proved to be the last straw for me there."

The 1982 World Cup winner added: "I feel sorry for the Viola fans but hopefully things will improve. Cecchi Gori has done some important things for the club but also made some grave errors."

AC Milan sign Umit for Terim
6.9 || Kenneth

Agreement reached with the midfielder, who will soon be in Milan. AC Milan will pay Galatasaray $2,5m for the 28-year old, who immediately accepted Terim's request.

Gaspart confirms: 'Coco on loan with an option to sign him'
6.9 || Kenneth

Barcelona's chairman declared: 'rancesco Coco joins on loan for 400m pesetas, but we have an option to purchase the whole registratoin for 2,600m pesetas. Barcelona will decided in June whether to keep him or not. However, I am sure he'll stay for six years'. Andrea Balducci.

Rexach: 'Coco is a high class player'
6.9 || Kenneth

Coach Charly Rexach, talks during the presentation of Francesco Coco: 'He's a high class player who can play on both flanks. And then, he's used to be under pressure, since he's joining from a big club'. Andrea Balducci

Barcelona-Coco: contract details after 2002
6.9 || Kenneth

Francesco Coco will sign a contract to join Barcelona from June 2002 until June 2007. His transfer fee would be set to $110m. Andrea Balducci

Davala set to make Milan move
6.9 || Kenneth

06 September 2001 (Teamtalk) -- Turkish midfielder Umit Davala is set to join AC Milan in the next 24 hours as he links up again with manager Fatih Terim.
The former Galatasaray player will be in Italy this afternoon to sign the deal that will ensure he plays his football at the San Siro for the next few years.

The 28-year-old's signature could represent the first step of a Turkish transfer raid by Terim. Milan have recently been linked with Inter Milan's forward Hakan Sukur, another player who Terim worked with at Galatasaray, and Terim is also believed to be interested in Okan Buruk.

Meanwhile, Davala could be facing an early debut in Serie A as Milan are facing some worrying injury problems. Both Manuel Rui Costa and Josè Mari are struggling for fitness, so Davala could be set to start against Fiorentina on Saturday.

Rui Costa warns of old boys threat
6.9 || Kenneth

Injured Milan midfielder Manuel Rui Costa has told his new team-mates to beware of a backlash from former club Fiorentina when the sides meet at the weekend.

“Fiorentina never surrender and they will do the same on Sunday, even if Milan want their first victory,” he said. “It will be very difficult but I am confident in my team-mates.”

Rui Costa picked up an arm injury on his Serie A debut for Milan and will be out for about a month. The Portugal international has expressed his disappointment at missing out on the chance to play against a club he represented for seven seasons.

“This could have been a very special night for me, maybe harsh to face because of the experience I had in Fiorentina,” said the 29-year-old.

“But it was also to be my first match in the San Siro stadium and I could play for the first time in front of my new supporters. It's a real pity.”

Both sides have to make up for poor displays on the opening weekend of the season, with Milan struggling to a 2-2 draw at Brescia and Fiorentina slumping 2-0 at home to newly-promoted Chievo.

Rui Costa Eyes Quick Return To Action
5.9 || Robert

AC Milan creative Manuel Rui Costa might return to action much earlier than was previously expected.

Rui Costa, who broke his hand during Brescia-Milan, is already training with his teammates in Milanello. This means that the former Fiorentina star could play in about two week’s time instead of the previous four week estimate.

Further injury woe for Terim
5.9 || Kenneth

05 September 2001 (Teamtalk) -- Milan striker Josè Mari has been told will be out of action until the New Year after tests on his left knee revealed severe ligament damage.
The Spaniard sustained the injury during the friendly with Spanish side Alaves on Sunday, and as a result the player will have to undergo surgery on September 10 in the Belgian city of Antwerp, the same hospital where Ruud Gullit underwent an operation during his time at the San Siro.

Josè Mari will definitely be out for the remainder of the year and only if everything goes according to plan then he might make a return in January 2002.

For Fatih Terim and his players this is yet another piece of bad news and the Turkish coach said: "This is impossible. I really can't believe we have been so unlucky.

"If somebody gets injured here it's always in the worst possible way."

Manuel Rui Costa will also be absent for as long as six weeks after he dislocated his elbow in Milan's opening-day 2-2 draw at Brescia.

Terim calls Turkish stars to Milan
5.9 || webmaster

The snapped knee ligaments that will keep Jose Mari out of action for at least three months and claims that Javi Moreno wants a transfer have prompted a new spending spree at Milan.


Galatasaray sources have already confirmed that the club has enquired after midfielder Umit Davala, but Coach Fatih Terim has requested yet more of his fellow countrymen join the team.

However, they would not even have to move house as the duo in question is Inter’s under-used Hakan Sukur and Okan. Neither fit into Hector Cuper’s plans and striker Sukur has not even been included in the list of players who can participate in the UEFA Cup for the Nerazzurri.

All of these Turkish stars have played under current Milan manager Terim and would welcome a return to the Emperor’s court.


There are also other options open to the club, such as unsettled Torino (and former Inter) striker Marco Ferrante or even the intriguing proposition of Simone Inzaghi, allowing the Lazio forward to share a team with his older brother Filippo.

Contra and Albertini to play Fiorentina
5.9 || Kenneth

International players and injured Ambrosini, Rui Costa, Redondo and Jose' Mari have skipped this morning's training session. Due to Rui Costa's absence coach Terim should use a 4-4-2 tactic with Contra and Albertini against Fiorentina.



Rui Costa promises early return
5.9 || Kenneth

Manuel Rui Costa has returned to training promising that he will be back sooner than expected. The Portuguese star was ruled out for 40 days after dislocating his elbow and breaking a bone in his hand during the Week 1 game at Brescia.

"I’m feeling quite good now and I hope to be able to be back in action sooner than the five weeks that was initially quoted," he said. "The work that I’ve done so far has given me hope that I will be able to return to first team duties relatively soon."

Rui Costa is just one of many Milan midfielders that are currently out but he’s hopeful that his teammates will also return within the near future.

"Players like Albertini, Ambrosini and Redondo are all on the road to recovery even if we have picked up more injuries on the way."

One of those players is Spaniard Jose Mari who has been ruled out for three months. However, reports today suggest that the loss of the former Atletico player could see Rui Costa’s international teammate Nuno Gomes arrive from Fiorentina.

Other names that have been linked to the Rossoneri are Inter’s Hakan Sukur and Simone Inzaghi of Lazio.

ALBERTINI ON THE PITCH AGAINST FIORENTINA
5.9 || Kenneth

After the Serie A debut at Brescia, a disappointing 2-2 draw which gave the start to many controversies which already put under fire coach Fatih Terim, AC Milan looks at Sunday's match against Fiorentina to erase all the doubts.

But Milano's team expects also the challenge versus Florence's side to test the condition of Demetrio Albertini, a player who the squad's play missed a lot in the past months

"I worked very hard to recover from the injury as soon as possible and to arrive at this match with a good condition. And it wasn't a boring thing at all, at the contrary I was happy to make that thinking the team could take some benefit from my return" said the player.

"Once on the pitch of course I will need the help of my team mates to find the right pace and to get again confidence with an official match, after the two friendly games I played. It's still impossible to say how much I'll be able to stay on the field, the most will depend from how the game will develop and from the rhythm of it. My condition is not still at the top, so in the final part of the match I expect a loss of form"

In the meantime the match against Mancini's team is already decisive for both clubs "I don't know which are Fiorentina's targets, but for sure we cannot handle another result different than a win. We cannot lose other points to the top of the standing if we want to win the championship at the end of the season. This is why all the players must be ready to sacrifice themselves and to give all on the pitch. Then the time will allow our play to improve and that will make everything easier" Albertini concluded.

Umit to sign with AC Milan on Friday
5.9 || Kenneth

According to the reporters in the Turkish press, Galatasaray and AC Milan would have found an agreement concerning the transfer of the midfielder Umit Davala, 28, to the Italian club. The left winger is expected to be in Milan on Friday in order to sign the deal.

Rui Costa: 'My goal is to recover before the 40 predicted days'
5.9 || Kenneth

Next Sunday, Manuel Rui Costa will surely miss the match AC Milan-Fiorentina. He says: 'Contrary to what I read, I would have loved to play. It would have been my debut at the San Siro in official matches, and with Fiorentina's fans present. I am sure Fiorentina will play a great match and they will have a good season. My goal at the moment is to recover before the 40 predicted days'.

Umit to sign with AC Milan on Friday
5.9 || Kenneth

According to the reporters in the Turkish press, Galatasaray and AC Milan would have found an agreement concerning the transfer of the midfielder Umit Davala, 28, to the Italian club. The left winger is expected to be in Milan on Friday in order to sign the deal.

GS board approves Umit move to Milan
5.9 || Kenneth

Galatasaray have given the go-ahead for Umit Davala to link up with his former coach Fatih Terim at AC Milan, onefootball.com can reveal. The Turkey midfielder is expected to join the Rossoneri on Friday for around £3 million.

The decision came after a four-hour board meeting on Wednesday morning.

GS confirmed on Tuesday that Milan had made an approach for the highly-rated international. "We have told Umit that there is an offer from Milan," said director of football Abdurrahman Albayrak.

"We told him that we want to keep him, but he really wants to play in Europe so we are going to let him go."

The player's contract is due to run out next summer and cash-strapped Galatasaray are looking to cash in while they can on a player who could leave for free in nine months.

This is the first time that Terim has returned to Galatasaray to plunder the squad he led to Uefa Cup glory in 2000.

"We are not going to act like previous Galatasaray boards," Albayrak explained. "As everybody knows, they held on to rising players and in the end had to let Emre and Okan go free to Inter.

"Now we will act to earn money for the club. We are positive about selling Umit to Milan - but for the right price."

A German national, Umit started his career at Mannheim, then played for Afyonspor, Istanbulspor, Diyarbakirspor and Genclerbirligi, before signing for Terim's Galatasaray in 1997.

With Massimo Ambrosini and Fernando Redondo still recovering from long-term injuries, and Manuel Rui Costa out for over a month after dislocating his elbow on the opening day of the season, Terim is keen to strengthen the Milan midfield.

AC Milan want Baljic to replace Jose' Mari
5.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan resumed negotiatins with Real Madrid for Bosnian striker Elvir Baljic to replace injured Jose' Mari, 'Marca' reports.

AC Milan ready to sign the second Inzaghi
5.9 || Kenneth

Jose' Mari out for three months. AC Milan are forced to sign new players: Simone Inzaghi is the main objective. Nuno Gomes and Sukur Hakan linked as well.

Galatasaray confirm: Umit on way to AC Milan
4.9 || Kenneth

Galatasaray director of football Abdurrahman Albayrak has confirmed that midfielder Umit Davala is on his way to Terim's AC Milan: "We have received an offer from AC Milan; We told him that we want to keep him, but he really wants to play in Europe so we are going to let him go." In the meanwhile in Milan everybody denies the news.

Albertini needs his team mates' help
4.9 || webmaster

AC Milan veteran star Albertini has declared: "I am ready to play but I am not well shaped yet and I need my team mates' help. We are going to play with 4 midfielders, it will be easier as we are used to this tactic. I hope Rui Costa will be back soon. We have not been playing that good so far but we truly need to win on Sunday against Fiornetina."

Ancelotti for Roma and Capello for Milan?
4.9 || webmaster

Incredible rumours, started by Piersilvio Berlusconi, who will replace his father. The former Juventus coach is close to AC Milan, but AS Roma want him as well.

Donati: "We must win"
4.9 || webmaster

Newly signed midfielder Donati declared about next Sunday's match against Fiorentina: "Albertini will be back and he's really important for us. I am sorry about last defeat against Alaves but we have to defeat Fiorentina in order to hush up all the latest rumours about coach Terim."

Jose Mari Injury Should Speed Up Umit's Move
4.9 || Kenneth

Milan striker Jose Mari will be out of action for three months after injuring knee ligaments, the club's official website revealed.


The Spanish hitman fell awkwardly during the weekend friendly with Alaves and tests found that his injury was worse than originally believed. He will undergo surgery on September 10th.


Milan will now step up their attempts to sign Umit Davala from Galatasaray. Cimbom director of football Abdurrahman Albayrak confirmed the contact. "We have received an offer from Milan. We told him that we want to keep him, but he really wants to play in Europe so we are going to let him go."

Jose Mari injury sees Milan turn to Nuno Gomes
4.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan will be without Jose Mari for the next three months after the Spanish striker damaged ligaments in his left knee in a friendly against Alaves in Vitoria, prompting speculation that coach Fatih Terim could move for wantaway Fiorentina striker Nuno Gomes.

Jose Mari will undergo an operation on 10 September in Anversa, Belgium.

"I feel very sorry for Jose Mari," Terim said. "We worked hard to have him in good shape and he had just recovered from his other injures.

"He was very useful because he can play in several positions. I wanted to use him as an outside left in a 4-4-2 formation."

Nuno Gomes scored four goals for Portugal in the 7-1 thrashing of Andorra at the weekend and has been expected to quit cash-strapped Fiorentina for much of the summer after a disappointing first season in Italy.

Coppa Italia First Round Draw
4.9 || Kenneth

The Coppa Italia first round draw has taken place. Listed below are the matchups as well as the team the winner will face in the next round.

Piacenza - Genoa
AS Roma

Como - Fiorentina
Brescia

Ternana - Udinese
Inter

Messina - Lecce
Parma

Siena - Verona
Lazio

Modena - Perugia
AC Milan

Empoli - Bologna
Atalanta

Sampdoria - Torino
Juventus

Emotional return for Inzaghi
4.9 || Kenneth

AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi is eagerly awaiting tomorrow night's game against Morocco and not just because he will start in the line-up.
The real reason for his excitement is that the friendly will be played in Piacenza, the city where Inzaghi was born and raised, and in the stadium of the team that first brought him fame and fortune before launching him towards a very successful career with Juventus.
"This is a dream come true. Honestly I could have never thought that this would happen. This is the second joy that coach Trapattoni gives me. The first was in Turin when he paired me up with my brother Simone in the friendly with England," he said during a press conference.
"Just thinking about tomorrow night, sends shivers down my spine. Me, a Picenza-born player who started his career in the local team, playing in my hometown wearing Italy's jersey - it's almost too much to bear," confessed the player.
He also assured that, except for his brother Simone who is in Rome training with Lazio, his entire family and most of his friends will be among the 20,000 people watching the game.
"The stadium will be sold out. I have personally asked the Federation to give me enough tickets for all of my family and friends. I sure hope they will because this game is very important for me."
Inzaghi is also convinced of the fact that the national team will soon wash away all memories of the rather average performance against Lithuania.
"I just don't understand why some people seem to worry so much. After all, that has been the only game in which we didn't play too well, but I believe that we will qualify for the World Cup without any kind of problem. This national team is strong and we'll be able to prove it at the World Cup."
Inzaghi also said that he and his team-mates will be expected to take the game seriously even though theoretically it will only be a friendly.
"There is no such thing as a friendly for Trapattoni. He always wants us to give our best. And we'll try our best to make him happy."

JOSE MARI OUT FOR SEASON
4.9 || Kenneth

INJURY-HIT Milan have been dealt a fresh blow with the news that Jose Mari's injury is worse than originally thought, with the Spaniard expected to undergo surgery after snapping knee ligaments.
The former Atletico Madrid star left the field in agony in a friendly match against Alaves, but it had first been thought that the he had only sustained a severe twist to his knee.

However, medical tests have revealed major ligament damage that will probably rule him out for the rest of the season, with a n operation scheduled for September 10.

Jose Mari joined Milan from Atletico in the summer of 1999, and has played a largely peripheral role at the Giuseppe Meazza - making 36 league appearances, mainly as a substitute, but only scoring three times.

Milan want Umit, admits GS chief
4.9 || Kenneth

Galatasaray confirmed on Tuesday that Milan have made an approach to sign £4 million-rated Turkey midfielder Umit Davala. "We have told Umit that there is an offer from Milan," director of football Abdurrahman Albayrak revealed.

"We told him that we want to keep him, but he really wants to play in Europe so we are going to let him go," Albayrak added.

The player's contract at the Ali Sami Yen is due to run out at the end of the season and the cash-strapped club are looking to net around £4 million for the player who could leave for free in nine months.

Another draw for Umit is the presence at Milan of coach Fatih Terim, who has long been rumoured to be keen on plundering the Galatasaray squad that he took to Uefa Cup glory in 2000.

"We are not going to act like previous Galatasaray boards," Albayrak continued. "As everybody knows, they held on to rising players, and in the end had to let Emre Bezoglu and Okan Buruk go free to Inter.

"Now we will act so as to earn money for the club. We are positive about selling Umit to Milan – but for the right price."

A German national, Davala started his career at Mannheim and then played for Afyonspor, Istanbulspor, Diyarbakirspor and tried his luck at Genclerbirligi before signing for Terim's Galatasaray in 1997.

With Massimo Ambrosini and Fernando Redondo still recovering from long-term injuries, and Manuel Rui Costa out for over a month after dislocating his elbow on the opening day of the season, Terim is keen to strengthen his midfield.

ALBERTINI: " It's please to be considered important"
4.9 || Phuong

The friendly against Alaves finally provided the much awaited news of Albertini's full recovery from inury. Albertini should now return to the side against Fiorentina on Sunday. "I played the whole ninety minutes against Alvares, having agreed before with Terim that I would try to stay on the pitch for as long as possible, so as to evaluate well what condition I'm in. As to how long I could last against Fiorentina on Sunday, that depends on how the team plays; if they play an attacking match, it will be easier for me", explained Demetrio.
"I'm really happy for peoples' enthusiasm regarding my return", said the metronome, explaining that "It's very pleasing for me, that people consider me an important part of the squad. I've worked all summer with great enthusiasm and dedication, even cutting my holiday short, to try to get back to fitness quicker. I have to thank everybody, especially club doctor Tavana, and the physio Puricelli, who have worked with me day in day out".

Finally, looking at the Italian national team, who are currently being strongly criticised for their lacklustre performance against Lithuania on Saturday, Albertini defended the new generation of midfielders who played, saying: "They are young, and they are good players. We need to be patient, to let them grow in peace".

Jose' Mari, the sprain is worse than predicted
4.9 || Phuong

A.C. Milan have stated that Josè Mari, who was injured during the course of the friendly against Alvares, has twisted his left knee, badly damaging the external collateral ligament.
After X-rays and a consultation between doctor Marc Martens and Milan club doctor Rodolfo Tavana, it has been decided that the player will undergo an operation on the 10th of September at Anversa.

Coco: An Asset but Not Nessecary
3.9 || Alex

COCO: AN ASSET BUT NOT NECESSARY

Given the talent as well as the popularity of Francesco Coco, his abrupt departure from the San Siro has shocked his teammates, his fans and, to make matters even worse, has furthered the skepticism around head coach Terim’s abilities on the sideline. There is no doubt that his capacity to dominate on the left flank will be missed and that his absence clearly lessens the depth of the Rossoneri, but once again I had found myself completely in agreement with Fatih’s line-up and Coco’s nonappearance in it leading up to his loan to Barcelona. I’m certainly the first one to admit the discontent I felt when I heard Francesco had moved to the Catalan’s den, but in conjunction with Terim’s dynamics and ideas surrounding his midfield, I wasn’t shaking in my boots the way so many Milan ultra were. The most influential changes the Turk has made thus far have ironically regarded the most fundamental areas when balancing a team. Each player has his own distinct strengths that bind him to his position with specific responsibilities that come with that territory…a simple and crucial concept that has been neglected by our two former bosses. Last year I saw a Milan side which contained many key players borrowing responsibilities from other positions, positions that didn’t exploit their strengths. I saw Maldini pinned to the left-hand corner in a fixed defensive state which didn’t allow him to make his decisive runs up the side. I saw Kaladze take on the role of a power midfielder that denied him the time to pull back and contribute to defense where his true place is. I witnessed a Milan side so poorly constructed that its attack consisted solely of running the ball down the sides, crossing it in and praying Sheva could do something with it. But strangely last year was the year in which Coco blossomed into the exceptional player that he is. It seems that the only player who was correctly positioned on the field during the 2000-2001 seasons was the young Italian. He defined himself last year as a strong, agile winger with a built in defensive instinct and for a while he was just what Milan needed. However, that was yesterday. Today’s Milan has been completely redesigned. The team as a whole is fast, more efficient while creative in attack, and the defense has been greatly reinforced. In Terim’s Milan speed, aggression, and an attacking state of mind are more valuable in a winger than his ability to track back and defend. Taking those attributes to mind, no one can deny that Serginho isn’t the man for the job. The lethally quick Brazilian has proven his worth time and time again where as Coco never quite clicked in the newly formed team throughout preseason and the Brescia match. As much as I hate to say it, Coco was definitely an asset, but not needed, at least not now. His rapid decline with the Rossoneri proves that in the ever changing world of soccer, good players don’t always do good things for particular teams, just take a look at Inter’s history over the past 5 years and you’ll see what I mean.


Written by: Alex Manghisi

Fiorentina: Toricelli doubtful for Milan clash
3.9 || webmaster

Fiorentina have still to verify Torricelli's condition for the postponed match against AC Milan, while Tarozzi will be surely out cause muscular problems. Tomorrow the resumprion of the sessions without Internationals Mijatovic, Manninger, Nuno Gomes and Repka.

Terim in danger after another defeat
3.9 || webmaster

1-0 defeat against Alaves and controversies are back. The club interested in Ajax's Ibrahimovic. Meanwhile, defender Chamot will sign for Alaves today, while Dida could follow him as well, although he doesn't want to leave for Brazil.

Azzuri look for Albertini
2.9 || webmaster

Giovanni Trapattoni is relatively optimistic following Italy’s disappointing goalless draw in Lithuania but admits that changes must be made before the 2002 World Cup. “As of next Sunday I will be travelling around the peninsula to find alternatives for the first team,” admitted the manager. The first new faces will already make their debuts in Wednesday’s friendly with Marocco as Parma striker Marco Di Vaio and Brescia defender Daniele Bonera have been called up.


“I have some certainties from the past and if the youngsters don’t go as well as planned then I have time to recall players like Mark Iuliano.” Trapattoni also confirmed that he is keeping a close eye on several old and new stars, most notably the long-awaited return of midfield maestro Demetrio Albertini.

“We’re expecting him back soon, maybe even against Hungary on October 6,” admitted the manager. The Milan star has been out with persistent injury problems for several months and makes his comeback following surgery in tonight’s friendly between the Rossoneri and Alaves.


“We suffered the most in midfield as we needed someone who could turn the ball round quicker, get it up to Francesco Totti much sooner. When he is in that situation Totti can be devastating. But even on Saturday, and I’m not saying this to defend my decision to play him despite the injury,” pointed out Trapattoni, “he was more than adequate.”


The Lithuania match highlighted problems on the wings but Trap assured, “Francesco Coco will grow and I am following Parma’s new buy Marco Marchionni.”


Christian Vieri partnered Alessandro Del Piero with mixed results against Lithuania but the Coach assures everyone that his mind is not made up. “Del Piero-Vieri is not a plan, just a possibility. Filippo Inzaghi is not out of the picture and Vincenzo Montella is also not on the second row of the grid. We have four or five equally talented strikers at our disposal.”

Terim about Albertini's return
2.9 || webmaster

Fatih Terim commented the defeat for 1-0 in Vitoria against Alaves: "Albertini played well, it was his first time this year and I'm satisfied with his job. He is a very important player, I want him always with me, this team need him".

Alaves 1 - 0 Milan - match summary
2.9 || webmaster

MILAN (4-3-1-2): Rossi; Chamot (45' st Deinite), Costacurta, Sarr, Serginho; Aubameyang (39' st Iannuzzi), Albertini, Donati (41' st Toma); Pirlo (31' st Stefani); Javi Moreno, Jose' Mari (22' st Vianello). All.: Terim.

ALAVES (4-2-3-1): Kike; Geli (26' st Turiel), Coloccini (38' st Brandan), Tellez, Llorens; Astudillo, Pablo; Mara (1' st Begona), Crujiff, Ivan Alonso; Magno (26' st Ruben Navarro). All.: Mane

Referee: Losantos Omar (Spain)

Scorer: 19 pt Geli

Jose Mari injured
2.9 || webmaster

Negative event for AC Milan during the friendly against Alaves: Jose' Mari injured in the second half, cause a bad fall, he got a dislocation to his left knee.

Rui - Viola season ticket holder
2.9 || webmaster

Fiorentina’s financial troubles have seen the number of season tickets sold drop drastically but they have at least one new member of the Viola Fans Club. Manuel Rui Costa may not be able to take his place in the stands very often but the midfielder has a seat reserved in the Curva Fiesole of the Artemio Franchi Stadium.


The Milan star bought his season ticket via the ‘Viola Club Rui Costa’, a fan group that has decided not to change its name even though the player it is honouring now wears the Rossoneri shirt. The move follows Francesco Toldo’s claims that he would buy shares in his former club if they became available.


The Portuguese international – out of action for 40 days with a dislocated elbow and fractured right hand – attended the 75th anniversary celebrations of Fiorentina’s foundation with his wife Rute and the President of his fan club.

The party was organised by the Tifosi groups and the Florence council but representation from the club itself was conspicuous by its absence.

Milan's UEFA Cup squad
2.9 || webmaster

18 Abbiati, 1 Rossi, 12 Fiori, 3 Maldini, 5 Costacurta, 13 Kaladze, 16 Chamot, 22 Contra, 24 Laursen, 25 Rocque Junior, 4 Albertini, 8 Gattuso, 10 Rui Costa, 14 Josè Mari, 15 Donati, 21 Pirlo, 23 Ambrosini, 27 Serginho, 20 Sarr, 30 Redondo, 32 Brocchi, 7 Shevchenko, 9 Filippo Inzaghi, 19 Javi Moreno

Image Gallery Updated
1.9 || webmaster

Since Coco and Bierhoff have left the club, I have removed the photos with those two players.

Instead, I've added:
> 14 Fatih Terim photos
> 2 group photos
> 4 Albertini photos
> 1 Boban photo
> 1 Helveg photo
> 2 Rui Costa photos
> 1 Brocchi photo

The photo gallery is located at:
http://www.acmilan-online.com/gallery/index.php

Enjoy.

Albertini: "I hope Rui recovers soon"
1.9 || webmaster

Demetrio Albertini talks about the midfield: 'The main problem was moving from 4 to 3. Rui's absence is not an advantage for us - as I read somewhere - and I hope he recovers as soon as possible. AC Milan signed important players and the squad is determined to do well'.

Milan found Coco's replacement
1.9 || webmaster

Coco's replacement is Atalanta's Bellini. The youngster to join in the year 2002. Chamot close to Alaves. Bologna want Pirlo to replace Locatelli, who joined Venezia.

Coco: "Milan don't trust young players"
1.9 || webmaster

The day after his decision to leave AC Milan to join Spanish giants FC Barcelona, from the retreat of the national team Francesco Coco explained he was really disappointed from the behaviour his former club taken

"Till the other day, my dream was to play the whole career wearing an AC Milan's jersey. But unfortunately the club had different plans, they decided to not trust young players, and my transfer, like those of Christian Zenoni and Gianni Comandini in the summer, is a consequence of that"

"It was clear I wasn't important anymore in the team, and this is not a personal charge to coach Terim, who just makes his job and takes his decisions. The desire of a player is to be on the pitch, but at AC Milan I was just a second choice, the reserve of Serginho, both on the left than on the right side. This made me decide to change air" Coco said.

"Barcelona was interested and I didn't miss this chance: it was one of the last days available to give Uefa the list of the Champions League players, and I couldn't wait more"

Coco explained he also thought to the possibility to 'lose' the national team, playing in a foreign league "Well, it's a risk, but I suppose to play in Barcelona will give me more chances to get a call than to stay benched at AC Milan"

Finally the left side talked about the past days rumour about his transfer to Lazio "There was also this option, but AC Milan didn't like that, maybe to not strengthen an opponent to Serie A title. And I don't think I could have accepted, Barcelona is a top club in Europe and I'm very happy to join them" Coco concluded.





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